Being stressed at work is a situation many of us can relate to. With the pile of responsibilities and pressure that we carry on our shoulders daily, it's inevitable. To keep the stress away, there are a lot of strategies to manage stress in the workplace that we can adopt—one of which is cleaning up our desk or workspace.
How can a simple concept of cleaning your desk have a significant effect on your well-being?
Research has shown that there is a distinct connection between organisation and increased productivity, which means to say that a clean desk can actually be a huge stress reliever at work.
The correlation between stress and clutter
Studies have found that, along with the workload, a messy work station not only hinders an individual's productivity but also negatively affects the mood and resilience of a person.
According to self-improvement website Pick the Brain, cluttered spaces can provoke emotional and mental distress, as people feel like they no longer have control over their space and therefore their lives.
The National Association of Professional Organisations finds paper clutter to be the number one issue that adds to stress and frustration in the workplace. According to this study, people spend around 4.3 hours rummaging through papers per week. Meaning that a cluttered desk wastes your time on trivial and insignificant tasks like sorting through your files, ultimately harming your efficiency at work and leaving you unproductive and stressed.
Here are some of the main reasons why a clean desk can be an effective way to keep the stress away:
Reduce workplace accidents and spills
One of the many nuisances of having a messy desk is it increases the risk of accidents. With the number of papers, pens, mugs, and other miscellaneous things on your desk, knocking or spilling over your documents or computer is likely to happen.
This could damage important documents and inconvenience you and your work. Getting sidetracked is one of the main causes of stress at work, as it keeps you from important work, and disrupts your focus and performance throughout the day.
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Help keep information confidential and secure
How to manage stress at work? Maintaining a clean and organised workspace that keeps important and sensitive files safe and secure can help lessen the pressure.
Part of having a job is handling responsibility for confidential information that your company has entrusted you with. Therefore, to avoid misplacing information and feeling stressed at work, keep your documents organised.
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According to a paper on workplace disorganisation titled, “The Price of Disorganization in the Workplace,” around $89 billion is lost yearly due to inefficiencies in the workplace, particularly due to the time employees spend looking for misplaced items in the office.
The employees' level of efficiency directly affects a company's performance in general. Low levels of productivity can have a huge impact on how well a business performs in regards to their services and sales.
It may seem trivial at first, but keeping your desk organised affects not only how you perform but also how you are able to contribute to (or hinder) your company's growth and success.
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It may sound odd to some, but your desk reflects your perception of yourself and influences how others perceive you. In a survey by staffing firm Adecco, 57% of Americans admit to judging their coworkers by how clean they keep their workspaces.
Keeping your desk clean can have a positive effect on how you see yourself, which can then help elevate productivity levels. When you've taken control and cleared out your own mess, you will feel more confident and positive; consequently, this confidence and positivity can give you that much-needed boost to perform well.
Here are three simple things you can do to keep a clean workstation.
1. Reduce paper consumption
To avoid building clutter, lessen your dependency on paper. Go digital and store your information on your computer. This way, the physical mess can be reduced, enabling you to keep sensitive paperwork secured and organised efficiently.
2. Don't let your small mess grow
Small messes have a tendency to morph into even bigger messes. To prevent this from happening, constantly sort through your things and let go of the things you no longer need.
3. Use a smaller desk
To avoid creating a mess in the first place, use a smaller table to work in. Having limited space to place your things will significantly reduce the number of items on your desk altogether.
Keeping the mess away from your desk brings in a wide range of positive outcomes that can significantly help keep you from being stressed at work. And although it is rather a simple task, it is still incredibly effective.
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