The power of a tidy workplace and how it can help boost productivity

Our work space could also be the cause of our drop in productivity, as this article explores.

Everyone has good and bad days when it comes to motivation and once motivation has left us, it can be hard to get back on track. There are many factors for losing our motivation whilst in work, tiredness, boredom, but our work space could also be the cause of our drop in productivity.

Our workspaces become our home away from home, spending eight hours a day in the same place, whether that is an office or storefront. Just like our homes, our workspaces can start to collect junk and unnecessary items, soon creating a cluttered mess that can be hard to work in.

What effect does a minimalist workspace have?

To find out how a crowded workspace can affect productivity, self-storage company Storebox asked a number of professionals to talk about how their workspaces had an effect on their workload.

When asked about how an untidy space affected his productivity, Ian Wright from British Business Energy stated, ‘I’m a big fan of minimalist work spaces. In fact it’s the only way I can get work done. I also hate working with people who leave their desk cluttered in rubbish, I find that even that can distract me. So what I’ll occasionally do when looking for a minimalist space, is to work out of somewhere that forces you to be minimalist e.g. coffee shop, public co-working space, Library, etc.’

A cluttered desk equals a cluttered mind and can pull focus away from the work in hand. Creating a blank space on which to start work can set you up for the rest of the day and help you find the motivation to blast through your ‘to do’ list.

Related: Does a clean office improve productivity?

How to combat an untidy workspace

There are many things we can do and encourage employees to do, in order to keep workspaces clear and clutter free.

Invest in draws and storage solutions

Papers and important documents can start to mount up on desks, if not properly monitored and organised. Investing in simple, under the desk drawers and storage solutions can give you and your employees extra space to keep your desks free and clear.

For larger items that may be taking up valuable work space, self-storage solutions could be the answer. These storage units can help to get excess furniture and equipment out of the way and keep workspaces open and minimal.

Sort the essential from the sentimental

Many of us will add trinkets, plants and sentimental items to our workspaces to make it feel more ‘homely’. We spend so much time in work, that these items could start to take over if not careful. Choose what is completely essential to your work and if you enjoy having some form of decoration in your eye line, choose just one item to keep.

Too many items on your desk or in your office can become a distraction and take your focus away from the task you’re trying to get through.

Encourage and participate in daily tidy ups

As soon as you get into work, take some time and have a tidy up of your space. A daily clean up can’t only help you keep on top of clutter, but it can also be a refreshing way to start to the day. Removing yesterday’s clutter can help you create a blank canvas on which to start a new day of work.

A tidy workspace can help you reset ready for the day and allow you to focus solely on your work. Working in amongst a mountain of clutter can be distracting and creates opportunities for procrastination. You may have even noticed, when you sit down to do some work, you decide that you can’t possibly start until you’ve cleaned the area around you.

By having a tidy before you even sit down to work, you can prevent the temptation to organise yourself half way through the day. Starting work with a minimalist workspace, you’ll notice a huge boost in your productivity for the whole day.

Related Topics

Workplace wellbeing