When you’ve got a big sales deal to contend with, or are otherwise struggling to make space in a jammed-up calendar, cleaning and organising your workplace is hardly likely to have a presence on your to-do list. But far from being a mere formality, putting your office in order not only improves productivity, it can also boost morale and encourage better worker attendance.
So even if it isn’t the season, getting your team stuck into a spring clean can be very useful for a number of reasons.
Productivity and accuracy
Your employees can’t do their jobs as effectively if they’re surrounded by clerical chaos, or worse. Workplace hygiene and cleanliness is vital for keeping colleagues healthy, which in turn will keep them feeling productive. A recent Staples survey found that employee productivity is halved when they’re working while suffering from illness.
Staying organised also has its benefits – if you know where to find what you’re looking for, you won’t lose time rooting around in the back cupboards for it. Those lost few minutes can really add up over the course of a week, but what’s worse is the time lost in the mental confusion and stress both before and after. A study at Michigan State University in the US found that a distraction lasting only 4.4 seconds can lead to as much as trebling the rate of error once we get back to work – so knowing where to find your stationery as and when you need it has its benefits.
Lower rate of workplace injury
Having a space for everything and ensuring it’s neatly stored away, including office machines and equipment as well as storage boxes, lowers the chances of employees getting hurt on the job, and your legal liability if the same fate befalls a visitor or client too. An HSE report says that 40% of all workplace-related injuries come from slips, trips and falls, so ensure your office equipment is reasonably tidied away to avoid the same happening to you or a colleague.
Less time missed from work
The United States’ Center for Disease Control estimates that 111 million workdays per year are lost to the ‘flu’. However, you’ve got more than disease to contend with, as another study by the University of Arizona found that your desk contains 400 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. By cracking down on germ and dirt build-up, you’re aiding your employees’ immune systems in the ongoing fight against diseases. Ensure that work surfaces are regularly cleaned – as often as the bathrooms and kitchens undoubtedly are.
Misplaced office supplies not only cost time trying to find them, but also money having to replace them if you’re forced to admit defeat. Keeping your office supply stock in one central, organised location means less chance of things going missing or ordering too many products.
It is estimated that small companies of less than five employees can spend up to £1,176 per employee on buying office supplies, furniture, tech and software, and cleaning products, plus stuff for the staff room. By being able to easily determine what’s in stock, you’ll minimise any risk of making a duplicate order, and won’t waste company time if you’ve under-ordered on other things and need to get them replaced.
More efficient filing systems
Without any access to sensitive files like financial records, your company could face legal issues. You’ll need to establish a system of managing data so that you can properly hold on to important documents such as contracts and tax forms. You also need to ensure that the more sensitive stuff is properly handled.
In order to ensure a cleaner and more organised office, planning ahead is essential – simply attacking the backlog can be inefficient and costly. The following products will help you keep a tidy, organised office throughout the year:
Microfibre cloths: Rather than releasing dust into the air when wiped, using specially-designed microfibre cloths on surfaces helps trap dirt and dust – meaning you can be just as effective with less cleaning fluid.
All-in-one printers: A useful addition to any office, the scanning function of an all-in-one printer allows you to scan important documents and store them on either computers or the cloud, meaning you can use a shredder to safely discard confidential information.
Plastic storage boxes: Extremely useful when it comes to keeping your supplies together in one place, available in many different sizes depending on what you’d like to store, including book- and file-sized.
Label maker: to save time unpacking storage boxes in search of an elusive folder, labelling files and storage boxes will let you know immediately what they contain. You can use different coloured labels for different categories.