Trip hazards, dust, and cosy spots for spiders are not the only things that clutter creates in the workplace. Clutter at work, and at home, has a huge impact on your psyche.
Cluttered workspace = cluttered mind
The chaotic assortment of waste, unused items, and important workplace tools of trade can make you feel overwhelmed, unable to cope, and resentful. More than just a mess, a cluttered workspace negatively affects worker productivity and creativity and it has been known to increase stress levels.
When the chaos reaches a certain level it’s not the mess that’s the problem, but the impact of the mess on the people living with it. Dr Olivia Wynne B Psych, PhD Psych (Science and Psychoneuroimmunology) explains research has revealed that clutter can adversely affect your mindset.“Our senses once stimulated with something familiar can trigger memories of past experiences. This includes feeling all the emotions attached to that memory,” Dr Wynne said. “If you’re office was once a neat and tidy haven, but is now a chaotic mess because your workload has increased, it’s likely you’ll always feel ‘busy’, behind and overwhelmed.”
- Clutter makes you feel tired – a cluttered office is a physical and mental drain, hindering creativity and blocking your energy.
- Clutter makes you feel hopeless – you’re probably too busy to file, pack up equipment, and get rid of stuff that you don’t use, and that’s why there is clutter. The problem is you’ll always feel overwhelmed and “busy” every time you step into that chaotic environment.
- Clutter makes you feel out of control – too busy to keep a tidy workplace? A disorganised workplace reduces your productivity because it takes more time to find things or access items and equipment. When the clutter stops you from doing what you want to do, you have lost control.
- Clutter affects your company culture – How you present (and setup) your workspace not only expresses some of your values and beliefs, but can either encourage or hinder communication and collaboration in the workplace.
On the flipside, a well organised workspace shows signs of pride and professionalism. It improves productivity and can even enhance creativity and communication.
Not all clutter is bad however. Boost your mood by decorating your space with items you cherish such as a family photo or a trinket you bought while on holidays. Their presence, and your attachment to them, will help you to feel at home, relaxed, and inspired.
Feeling drained and uninspired? Is it time to declutter your workspace?
What does your desk say about you?
Here at UQ Power, we visit a lot of organisations and we see a lot of desks. We can usually tell straight away what the appearance of a desk says about the desk owner and the company culture of the organisation.
In our Desk a Day Challenge we analyse the desks of our readers. We’ve seen some wide-ranging examples of office spaces – from the minimalistic look with barely a pen out of place, to the disorganised and cluttered.
We know everyone prefers to work in different ways, and that ‘having a tidy desk’ can be interpreted differently depending on your propensity for clutter. However the environment of an office is a critical factor to successfully building trust, collaboration and communication in a workplace. What does your desk say about how you and your business operates?
Send in a photo to us at UQ Power and we will analyse what is says about your company culture.