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How to Create a Clean Desk Policy

As staff begin to return to the office, it’s the perfect time to implement a Clean Desk Policy.

A Clean Desk Policy has many benefits. One major advantage is that clean desks typically lead to better security on data and other confidential information used in the office. But decluttering the workspace can also help reduce the number of distractions around, improve staff safety, and maintain good hygiene levels.

According to research by the Harvard Business Review, our surroundings can significantly impact our cognitive and emotional function, as well as effecting our decision-making skills and relationships with other people.

We’ve probably all allowed our house to become a little cluttered before. And a cluttered space can quickly increase stress and anxiety levels. Stress at home is one thing, but workplace stress – and related healthcare-  costs businesses up to $190 billion a year. Suddenly, clutter is no joke.

It’s no surprise that if office clutter causes stress, it also impacts staff performance. And the whole thing becomes a vicious cycle: Increased workloads cause more stress, indecision, and less time to keep things tidy. But an untidy desk can then cause more stress on top of your workload. But, if we all took a few minutes to tidy up, the benefits could be huge.

A clean desk policy for better hygiene

If you suspect your cleaning staff aren’t doing a great job in terms of cleaning the desks and surfaces, a clean desk policy will leave them with no excuse. A clean desk at the end of the workday gives staff the chance to access all areas of the workspace, so no area is left unclean.

A horrifying study found that desks are pretty disgusting and can hold up to 400 times more germs than the average toilet seat. And all of those germs can quickly rub onto our hands, wrists, arms and – when we’ve had a particularly stressful day and flop our heads into our hands – our face.

Without proper cleaning, desks are a breeding ground for bacteria like E-Coli, leading to serious illness for staff. On a business level, dirty desks could be leading to more sick days and, as such, less productivity.

How to implement a clean desk policy

So, it’s all well and good taking a look at the figures and seeing the benefits, but how can you actually implement a clean desk policy?

First things first, take a look at what’s currently on desks: What can be recycled? What can be archived? What can be stored electronically?

Next, identify designated areas for filing confidential documents so that everyone knows how to keep the office organized.

Lastly, hire a great cleaning team for a deep clean to start your new policy off right.

A clean desk is so much more than just a free workspace. The lack of clutter can reduce stress, improve productivity and make keeping the office hygienic easier. It also helps to maintain a more positive mind and protect sensitive documents the business works with. 

Give the policy a try as staff return to work and see what happens!

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