We all know the old adage ‘Tidy Desk, Tidy Mind’, but there is evidence to suggest that this isn’t just a rumour started by Cleaning Product Companies when sales are running low. There really are a number of benefits to a good old workplace spruce up! Firstly – and let’s get the not so palatable reasons out of the way early – your computer keyboard and desk telephone can harbour all kinds of nasties. A recent article from the BBC website cited research carried out by Consumer group Which? who claimed that out of 33 keyboards that were tested at their London Offices, 4 were classed as a ‘potential health hazard’ and one was incubating 5 times more germs than one of the office toilet seats… lovely stuff! Thankfully, a regular swipe over your keyboard, mouse and telephone with an anti-bacterial wipe can help to reduce the risk of your own electrical equipment becoming a breeding ground for not-so-pleasant things, so it is possibly a good place to start with your office spruce up!
Further benefits of a tidy workspace are noted on the American Psychological Association’s website. They quote an investigation by Dr Kathleen Vohs of the University of Minnesota, who found that working in a tidy room can encourage people to do socially responsible things like eat more healthily – always a positive thing! So if you are experiencing a sugar come down after a morning of too many biscuits, and really want to substitute your tasty processed snacks for something a little more natural, perhaps an office clearing session is just the inspiration you need!
Once your workplace has been de-cluttered and unwanted germs sent packing, why not add a touch of greenery to your office space? Having plants in the workplace has been found to improve general feelings of well-being for staff and can even help to improve productivity. Recent research also suggests that certain species of plants can work to improve air quality in your home or office, and reduce the effects of toxins that are present in cleaning products, printing inks, synthetic fabrics, etc. The Daily Mail recently produced a great infographic showing the pollutant-reducing abilities of certain plants: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3081747/Prescribe-HOUSEPLANT-Infographic-reveals-shrubs-reduce-levels-pollutants-homes-offices-near-roads.html According to their article, Peace Lilies are one of the best plants to invest in for the home or office, as they work to reduce the harmful effects of 5 major toxins that we are exposed to on a daily basis. Thankfully, they are also affordable and easy to look after and look quite pretty too – I’ll definitely be investing in one for my desk!
So if you have a spare half an hour this week, why not take some time out to have a quick office tidy-up? The psychological and physical benefits really could help to ensure that you have a happier and healthier summer!
P.S. Also, if you are visiting the Which? Offices in London at any point, you may want to take some hand sanitiser with you (or a full bio-hazard suit…).