Health and Wellbeing · 7 November 2017

Decluttering your working space could improve staff wellbeing and productivity

Design and printing firm Avery
Two-thirds of UK workers wanted their desk area to be tidier

With staff wellbeing high on the agenda, encouraging a decluttered and tidy working environment could be a way for employers to directly support their workforce, as new research reinforces the link between organisation and productivity.

As part of National Organisation Week, design and printing firm Avery UK polled 2,000 UK adults to find strong evidence linking organised and decluttered working spaces with productivity and mental wellbeing.

Whether its by filing important documents away, labelling files or decluttering their desk, eight in ten UK workers considered tidying and organising to be a powerful way to relieve stress at work.

Almost two-thirds of respondents said an organised lifestyle, both at home and at work, helped with general health and wellbeing.

Read more: The ten most irritating office habits causing workplace conflict

Despite the influence of mess and clutter on the nation’s productivity, and the negative impact of a disorganised workplace, two-thirds of workers believed their office surroundings needed to be tidier.

Explaining the benefits of organisation and decluttering to employers and staff, Katherine Katherine Blackler, president of the Association of Professional Declutterers & Organisers, said working together to target problem areas would help a team achieve its goals.

“In an office, you and your colleagues could be wasting valuable time looking for documents or important items, so it really is worth investing the time upfront to create better ways of working together efficiently,” she said.

“Make sure everything has its place and things don’t start to pile up. If you’re not a person who files as they go, give yourself a small tray or folder for collating documents into, but make sure you don’t go beyond that defined volume before you knuckle down and file it away where it belongs.”

Commenting on the findings, Stephanie Davies, CEO of training consultancy Laughology, said the stress factors contributing to poor wellbeing were “controllable and easy to fix.”

“Creating a working environment that works for you will increase productivity and how you engage with your work. This might mean you still have some of your quirky desk ornaments or papers around you, they’re just organised differently,” she explained.

Avery UK produced a league table of the top 30 everyday tasks Brits find most therapeutic

  1. Crossing stuff off a to-do list
  2. Putting together a to-do list
  3. Organising important personal documents
  4. Vacuuming
  5. Tidying my desk at work
  6. Organising your storage
  7. Making your bed
  8. Washing the dishes
  9. Cleaning the bathroom
  10. Dusting/polishing my home
  11. Mowing the lawn
  12. Wiping kitchen worktops
  13. Writing things on my calendar
  14. Filing away documents at work
  15. Ironing
  16. Putting ironing away
  17. Labelling files, folders or storage
  18. Tidying my desk at home
  19. Loading the washing machine
  20. Organising CDs/vinyl alphabetically
  21. Washing the car
  22. Cleaning the inside of the car
  23. Sorting through paperwork at work
  24. Arranging wardrobe by colour, size and/or clothing type
  25. Arranging pots and pans by shape and size
  26. Organising books by genre and/or alphabetically
  27. Creating a filing system
  28. Organising DVDs/blu-rays alphabetically
  29. Clearing the garage
  30. Emptying the dishwasher

For more information on supporting the health and wellbeing of your employees, visit AXA PPC Healthcare

Work-related stress becomes biggest driver of sleep deprivation among employees

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is a reporter for Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and previously worked as a content editor in the ecommerce industry.

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