Employee satisfaction is a buzzword in the business world. Yet, one might wonder if it is merely a fancy term or if organizations genuinely take actionable steps to enhance employee contentment.
Employee satisfaction encompasses many factors, ranging from work-life balance to professional growth. Even seemingly minor factors like the tidiness of the workspace contribute majorly.
In this article, we will discuss the advantages of a well-maintained and clean workspace and its impact on productivity and business success.
A clean workspace means a safer workspace. Clutter can lead to accidents and injuries. For instance, broken furniture in pathways, machine parts, or messy desks can be hazards in the work environment. Therefore, they are unsafe for employees and might give rise to compliance issues and legal costs.
Many businesses hire staff solely responsible for maintaining cleanliness in the workplace. While this might be sufficient to keep a small office clean, in a large office area or an industrial workplace, it is crucial for organizations to employ expert industrial hygienists.
These professionals often hold an MSPH degree and industrial hygiene certification. They possess the knowledge necessary to ensure a healthy, safe, and compliant workplace. Industrial hygienists can not only identify areas for improvement but also provide suggestions on how workplace hazards can be mitigated.
If the workspace is unclean or cluttered, it offers an ideal breeding ground for germs. These germs can contaminate the surfaces, including paperwork, files, and desks. When employees touch these surfaces, they are at an increased risk of contracting diseases.
If they contract diseases, they might end up taking more sick days. The risk of employees getting sick due to unclean workspaces is higher during the flu season. However, disinfecting surfaces, including high-touch items such as keyboards, mice, and desks, especially during this season, can reduce absenteeism due to illnesses.
Lowered Stress Levels
According to a study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, there are multiple negative implications of clutter. A cluttered room can increase stress, lead to unhealthy habits, and reduce productivity. While the study does not specifically assess the impact of clutter in the workplace, productivity is closely related to the workplace environment.
To address this issue, the first step is to ensure that the staff responsible for cleanliness disinfects surfaces and keeps the workspace free of unnecessary items like spare chairs and tables. Next, implement a policy that requires workers to clear their desks of files, papers, or stationary items before they leave. Some people might be naturally messy, but when they are compelled to keep their work desks clear, the office will be free of clutter.
The Journal of Environmental Psychology also emphasizes the importance of cleanliness and decluttering in increasing productivity and focus. However, apart from the psychological impact of cleanliness on productivity, there is another reason why cleanliness ensures increased focus.
When a workstation is clean and organized, employees can easily find important documents and files. But when it is cluttered and things are scattered, employees have to divert their focus from work to locate essential items, which leads to inefficiencies in the workflow. Even something as small as a misplaced stapler or a pen buried in a pile of paperwork can be distracting.
When the workflow is disrupted, it leads to a loss of focus, which in turn negatively impacts employee productivity.
Expanding upon the previous point, the impact of an unclean and disorganized workspace on employee productivity can lead to increased costs for businesses. When workers take more time than necessary to complete tasks, they are required to put in extra hours of work, resulting in overtime costs for businesses. On the flip side, if the business decides to hire more staff to cover the workload, they will again be increasing their costs.
Another perspective on this point is the issue of high turnover. When employees work in an unclean environment, they might change jobs due to heightened stress and inefficiencies. The average cost of hiring a replacement is around $4,000. While this cost varies based on the role, it illustrates the substantial expenses that businesses must bear if turnover is high due to low job satisfaction.
Furthermore, an unclean and cluttered workplace also reduces costs by preventing hazards such as falls and trips. When employees are safe, the business can save money that might have otherwise been required to compensate employees for injuries.
Contributes to Employee Motivation
A clean and organized workspace significantly contributes to employee motivation, promoting a positive environment that boosts productivity and business success. Clutter-free surroundings promote a sense of control and focus, enabling employees to concentrate on their tasks without unnecessary distractions.
A clean space also reflects an employer’s dedication to employee well-being, leading to increased job satisfaction and morale. Knowing that their employer prioritizes their comfort and efficiency, employees are more likely to take pride in their work and remain engaged throughout the day.
Moreover, an organized environment minimizes stress, reduces the mental load of finding materials or information, and enhances clarity of thought. These factors combined create an atmosphere where employees are motivated to perform at their best, ultimately driving the business toward greater success.
A clean space does not only make the workplace look organized but also has a huge impact on employee productivity, which eventually leads to business success. Whether the organization is big or small, it needs productive employees to run effectively and churn profits.
While small-scale organizations can self-assess and hire staff to keep the space clean, large workspaces and industrial facilities need to hire industrial hygienists to do the job. These professionals can make sure that the organization stays compliant with regulations related to cleanliness and hazards in the workplace.