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Aerial view of messy cubicle in officeWhy do employees—especially in the cubicle environment—have such a difficult time keeping their desks tidy? When nick-nacks, stacks of books, scattered paper and personal items consume a desk area not only does it look terrible, but dust will likely accumulate as these items never get moved around.

The fact of the matter is, when a work space is organized and clean, employees feel more productive, are likely to regularly keep it clean, and it may even provide unintended peer pressure for others in the office to do the same. Ultimately, this can keep cleaning costs down for the organization.

Here are some tips for office managers to keep office clutter from happening:

  1. Keep cleaning wipes in close proximity. Nearby access to cleaning products will give employees the autonomy to clean their own work spaces. It’s likely they will do it more often, too.
  2. Set a precedent for employees. Let new employees know that clean work spaces are expected. Enforce weekly cleaning for the rest of the employee base as well. After a while it will become part of the culture and it won’t even need to be enforced.
  3. Reward the employee with the cleanest desk. Random on-the-spot awards for having a clean desk may give a boost to the excitement around cleaning.

The goal in all of this should be to give employees the best working environment possible so that they feel excited and productive when they come to work. If they see cluttered desks  and thick layers of dust coating shelves and books, it’s likely they won’t be too jazzed about conquering the work day.

Image courtesy of Flickr / slworking