One of Albert Einstein’s notable quotes states “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” As some researchers from the University of Minnesota found out, a messy room can be a sign of creativity. So, would this be a premise not to keep your workspace clean and free of clutter?
The answer is no.
Work minutes are lost if you don’t easily find what you need. Health can also be at stake. Tripping risks and other office hazards should be mitigated.
However, if it’s your desk, it’s your rule. The neat freaks can complain all they want but as long as your “organized chaos” does not stifle anyone’s productivity, then it should be good.
Be that as it may, it wouldn’t hurt to try to practice some of the pointers below. These ways can eliminate the disadvantages of having a messy workspace.
Digitalize everything possible
Going paperless does not only save trees or the energy for recycling but also your time in finding the needed document. This is especially true if you have applied the proper file name and saved it in the appropriate drive.
An example of this is your company directory. A shared contact list paves the way for better collaboration between departments. No need to ask anyone for the contact details of the recently hired employee or the new vendor. Plus, it’s fewer sticky notes on your monitor.
Use proper storage
Filing cabinets and office organizers help you save desk space. The aesthetics of these racks are a bonus especially if you have adopted to immediately return the stapler, pens, and paper clips there.
Keeping important documents away from pens or highlighters that may leak keeps away the troubles of reproducing them. Enclosed cabinets and drawers eliminate dust and other weathering changes to your tools.
Donate within a week or dump it immediately
The outdated computers in your storage room could just go to some underprivileged communities. Arrange with them regarding the logistics of the donation immediately instead of the IT equipment accumulating dust in the back room.
If you are unsure whether the discarded item is still useful or not, most likely it’s not. If a piece of office equipment is broken and the maintenance guy didn’t fix it within a reasonable time, then it’s better on the next garbage truck or recycling plant.
Cable trays and zip ties are friends
Tightly bundled data cables look neat. However, this is not advisable for a large group of data cables as interference may occur. Furthermore, rigidly clustered wires deter heat from dissipating properly. This will affect their performance as well. Cable trays are better for voluminous cables.
Nonetheless, ensure that cables are not tripping hazards. Install flat cord protectors when cables need to run across the room. Also, make sure there is no mechanical stress on the wires. Avoid putting something over them to prevent the increase in cable resistance.
If it’s just a few wires, a cable catch, cable covers, or even zip ties would be enough. It saves you the time and effort of untangling it from the interlaced cables should you need to replace it.
Eat on your desk at your own risk
In the absence of an official policy about desk eating, it is really your choice to do it or not. There are many reasons why eating lunch at your desk is a bad idea. Yet, if you can’t help to have a working lunch or have something to chew while drilling over data, then do it responsibly at least.
Knowing that you should avoid eating messy and pungent food is basic. It would attract insects and pests, let alone the possibility of disgruntling an officemate. Importantly, be aware of the possibility of spills so at least clear the documents away first.
Have an air purifier
If your office doesn’t have a centralized one, you may just bring one for yourself. Stick to unscented ones that do not just mask unpleasant odors. Better yet, just use the good old baking soda.
Celebrate a ‘monthsary’ with your desk hygiene
Set a date once a month wherein you do deep cleaning. Wipe every nook and cranny. Shake your keyboard upside down. Touch everything in your work area and if haven’t been using it, put it in storage or arrange for disposal.
Takeaway on keeping your workspace clean and free of clutter:
The real effort lies in sticking with your internal resolution to have a better office space to avoid lost minutes finding a document at least. You don’t have to spend much to keep your workspace clean and free of clutter, you just have to be determined.