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Clean space, clean mind: the importance of workspace hygiene
Chris Wootton, managing director of Poppies, the domestic cleaning brand which is part of the British Cleaning Council’s Domestic Cleaning Alliance, gives his advice on workspace hygiene…
“Cleanliness, in every walk of life, is now at the forefront of our thinking. Whether at home or in public, hygiene and taking pride in the spaces that we occupy has never been so prevalent in our minds. But it is in professional capacities where we seem to forget about maintaining these same high standards....
After all, we don't live in the office (although it might sometimes feel like that!), so why should we be worried about how it looks? Well, considering the events of the last two years, the line between our office space and our home space has never been closer, and there is a significant amount of evidence to support the need for taking care of the cleanliness of those spaces.
Cleanliness drives confidence and gives you a sense of pride…
Employees who have a clean desk are able to work 7.5 minutes longer every hour without feeling distracted. It may not seem like much, but that time adds up! It is what this implies that is arguably more significant than the time itself. Having that clear, clean space where you can work to your full potential gives you the added motivation and confidence that could ultimately bring much better results in your professional life. Taking pride in the space that you work in is an important step towards maintaining a positive mindset.
Decluttering means destressing...
Putting yourself in control of a consistent element of your job can make a huge difference to your overall mindset. In fact, a clean desk increases productivity and persistence by 84%. If you do not feel like your workspace is professional, it can affect how you feel when you are in that workspace. After all, the environment you operate in is going to affect you in some mental and physical way, even if you do not notice it. If you feel that your workplace is not conducive to work, some spring cleaning or a deep clean might help.
Remember the importance of hygiene…
We have all seen the alarming statistics about bacteria on common work-related touchpoints. In fact, in some cases, 7,500 bacteria can live on your keyboard, while cold and flu viruses can live up to 24 hours in spaces such as these. Regularly cleaning these spaces with anti-bacterial wipes and spray decreases the chances of illness spreading around your office, or your home depending on where you work - it is not about overcomplicating it but taking necessary action when you need to. And we all know what that means! Less illness means less unnecessary time off and better results!
Introduce feng shui
Feng shui is an ancient art that can bring balance, organisation, and stability to your workspace. Simple steps like rearranging a room to maximise natural light, adding elements like plants, and incorporating the right colours can help improve the flow of the environment. An office that is inviting, organised, and aesthetically appealing can make work more enjoyable. A balanced, organised and deliberately arranged office will motivate you to maintain its cleanliness, while equally promoting a positive attitude.
Some 57% of people admit they feel judged for the cleanliness of their workspace1. This indicates that, while people care, they may not be acting on the problems causing the feeling of judgement. Whether you work at home or in the office, your workspace is a reflection of how you work. A cluttered and untidy space sends out the wrong signals - impressions are essential and leave a lasting image on everyone that you interact with. A neat workspace transforms your attitude while turning the space into a cleaner, safer, healthier, happier work environment.
We forget how much time we spend in our workspaces. In fact, research suggests we spend one third of our life at work2. So, it stands to reason that these spaces, whether at home, in the office or in another environment, can have a huge effect on mental and physical health. Taking important steps such as maintaining your workspace's hygiene gives you a significant level of pride, ultimately improving your productivity and attitude towards work. They don't need to be major steps but showing that you care about your work environment sets a tone that you will reap the benefits of in the results you produce."
9th June 2022