Why Disorganized Employees Can Cost Your Startup Money & How To Handle It

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Need to increase the productivity and efficiency of your disorganized employees? Decluttering your office does the trick! Why it works & what you can do to to foster it:

UK-based startup AnyJunk took a look into the implications that cluttered desks can have on a startup and its employee productivity, as well as tips and solutions for decluttering the office.

“When your environment is cluttered, the chaos restricts your ability to focus. The clutter also limits your brain’s ability to process information. Clutter makes you distracted and unable to process information as well as you do in an uncluttered, organized, and serene environment.” – Princeton University

Overloading your brain forces it to divide its power, making it more difficult to:

  • Sift through information
  • Move between tasks, quickly
  • Have a strong working memory

How Clutter Impacts Employee Productivity

Researchers at Yale recently identified that the anterior cingulate cortex and insula, the two places your brain associates with pain, illuminate when you let go of things you own and feel connected to. This means it’s painful to get rid of things due to a real connection with them.

While it may be difficult to let go of the things that cause clutter, NAPO states that the number one challenge in being organized is paper clutter. Some studies reveal the average person wastes up to 4.3 hours a week looking for papers, which adds stress and frustration to the workplace while reducing concentration and creative thinking.

Bryan Hunter from Instant Offices emphasizes: “Keeping your company organized is paramount to keep staff mobilized, sustain high office productivity, and remain focused on priorities and profitability. Whether you are a large organization or a startup founder, something as small as maintaining a clutter-free office can have a huge effect on the bottom line.”

The good news is that there’s something you can do about it.

Tips & Benefits Of Decluttering Your Office:

#1 Save time and improve efficiency by using a filing system

When paperwork piles up you waste time looking for what you want, instead:

  • Use a filing system for keeping things where they belong. This will clear the surface of your desk and you’ll know where documents are when you need them.
  • Use a logical flow to keep papers in one spot. Pens, notebooks, and other commonly used items should be kept at arm’s length.

A US study shows the average worker wastes up to one week a year searching for misplaced items.

  • Decluttering your digital space is just as important as the physical stuff – they both have the same effect on your brain.
  • Often, we need to access documents in a moment’s notice, in which case a thought-out desktop file sorter is important
  • Try using colour-coded folders, and not stacks of files

#2 Reduce workplace accidents and spills with a clear space

A recent study by the HSE reported that between 2013 and 2016 an average of 119.000 employees slipped, tripped, or fell at work in the UK. Have you ever tripped over a colleague’s pile of tossed out paperwork, crammed rubbish bin or unruly cords?

  • Remove, or toss, anything from your desk that is not used often. Everything else should go in drawers, cabinets, and containers for easy access.
  • Keep the space around your computer clear so that your mouse, and hands, can move freely without knocking anything over.

#3 Keep areas clean for less employee absence & higher motivation

Being healthy at work directly impacts productivity – no one works well when they’re ill, and chances are they’ll end up infecting fellow team members.

  • There are germs and mold from viruses or crumbs that can’t easily be seen. Dust, mold, and animal hairs (if your office is lucky enough to have these furry bundles of joy visit) that get wedged into cluttered spaces trigger allergies and asthma.
  • Don’t risk your health and that of your colleagues. Keep your desk and other surfaces clean by using powerful cleaners regularly.
  • Even if your office has a regular cleaning service, they won’t get into the nooks and crannies – be sure to tackle these untouched surfaces.

AnyJunk founder Jason Mohr adds: “ Our brand services a number of offices that have benefited from regular decluttering. We spend our time and energy focusing on making our home a livable space where we can relax, so why wouldn’t we do the same for our workplace in order to be more focused? As the average employee spends 40 hours a week in their office, it’s important to take pride in the workplace and create an atmosphere that people are productive and enjoy being in”.



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