After the confetti has been swept and the champagne hangovers have subsided, it’s time to get serious about your New Year’s resolution. Some of the most popular resolutions include exercising more, losing weight, getting organized, learning a new skill, and saving money. Building better habits isn’t easy, and experts say it can take anywhere from 18 to 254 days for it to stick!
The second Monday of January is “Clean Off Your Desk Day.” If getting organized was one of your commitments for the new year, today is a great day to start!
Here are fives reasons why a cleaner office is essential:
- It makes a great first impression
- A comfortable space encourages teamwork
- Environment affects your mood
- Improves your health
- Increases productivity
It Makes a Great First Impression
Although many companies now accommodate a work-from-home arrangement, nearly 44% don’t allow remote work of any kind, according to one study. As co-workers and clients walk into your office or cubicle, first impressions go beyond the hello and handshakes (or elbow bumps).
From the reception desk to every space beyond, the design, lighting, colors, and cleanliness of the office set the tone. These elements contribute to your company’s identity and communicate details about your brand to prospective clients and new hires.
The customer experience starts here, so break out the garbage can, grab a paper shredder, and start tossing old post-it notes, pens without ink, and junk mail.
A Comfortable Space Encourages Teamwork
Creating a place conducive to team collaboration and well-being requires planning and action. A comfortable work environment begins with removing the clutter. After that, managers can support their team’s efforts to stay organized by evaluating other environmental factors affecting productivity.
Some ways to keep clutter at bay and improve comfort include:
- Digitize documents – evaluate your team’s work processes to determine if some documentation can be scanned and stored digitally.
- Invest in more or better storage options – For physical documents that need to be retained, ensure every employee has ample space to keep files organized and off of desks.
- Check the air quality – According to research from Harvard, cognition and occupant health improves with better ventilation. Avoid using perfumes or fragrant aerosols as some people may have allergies or find the smells distracting.
- Add office-friendly plants – a splash of green can make any space feel more inviting. Consider species like the Snake Plant or Chinese Evergreen that act as natural air filters. Most importantly, find plants suited for the light conditions and don’t require a lot of care.
- Better lighting – like plants, people react negatively to poorly lit rooms. Natural light boosts moods and improves vision. If your building doesn’t offer much, invest in full-spectrum light bulbs that mimic the sun’s white light.
- Find the right temperature – If it’s too cold or too hot, employees will start to get frustrated. Adjustments need to be flexible to suit the seasons, the number of people in the office, and considerate to as many people as possible.
- Create relaxation zones – Upgrade your break room. Sometimes, the daily grind can get frustrating. Give your employee’s a quiet space to zen out when they need a moment to collect themselves.
Environment Affects Your Mood
Even if you never plan to return to a shared workspace, the condition of your home office heavily affects your mood too. Some studies have shown that a messy room can induce negative physiological responses.
Essentially, clutter is bad for your mood. It takes time to sort through documents and decide what needs to be kept and tossed, which leads to procrastination. As things pile up, the stress hormone known as cortisol also increases. Awareness of the mess heightens the negative feelings. “Clutter is in the eye of the beholder,” says one of the study’s authors, “The people who talked about it were the ones who had the cortisol response.”
Whether your commute involves sitting in traffic, riding public transit, or simply walking across the hall, remove the additional stress of walking into an unkempt office. Start your week off right by setting aside a few minutes each Friday to round up and discard unnecessary items.
Improves Your Health
Increased stress can also affect your health. With the continued spread of the covid-19 virus, many individuals are already anxious about working in an office. Having a plan to keep the office clean and employees healthy is critical.
Although covid-19 rarely spreads through surfaces, regularly cleaning commonly used areas like your desk, computer, phone, and other tools reduce the spread of many different germs. This will help cut down on the number of sick days employees take.
Boost your immunity with a deep cleaning of your desk.
Removing distractions will increase your productivity.
A disorganized space also results in low visual working memory capacity. Some high functioning individuals can ignore the distractions of a mess, but for others, a more controlled environment is needed to process visual information better. A clear desk cuts down on frustrating search time for the right document.
When working in a team with shared tools, keeping things organized also instills a sense of responsibility to take better care of the equipment.
Clearing the Clutter of Title Defects
If you’re one of the 49% of title agents who don’t always check the public record for releases after closing, another kind of clutter might be piling up: title defects.
Real estate closings are notoriously complex and paper-heavy. Each document recording a lien or judgment against a property must be resolved with a corresponding release, satisfaction, or other instruments. One title defect can set back a closing and take days, weeks, or even months to resolve.
Unfortunately, automation tools like eRecording don’t eliminate the post-closing task of searching the public record to ensure all instruments are recorded. The longer a lien release goes unrecorded, the higher the chances of it one day requiring more costly work to resolve or even quiet title action.
PropLogix offers release tracking to reduce this kind of post-closing clutter and title curative services to clean up the defects that have gone unnoticed until the owner decides to sell.
This content is provided for informational purposes only. PropLogix, LLC (PLX) is not a law firm; this content is not intended as legal advice and may not be relied upon as such. PLX makes no representations as to the accuracy, reliability, or completeness of this content. PLX may reference or incorporate information from third-party sources, upon which a citation or a website URL shall be provided for such source. PLX does not endorse any third party or its products or services. Any comments referencing or responding to this content may be removed in the sole discretion of PLX.