Keep it clean – 5 Tips for a tidy desk

When talking about business, how much does our appearance matter? More than many of us realise. Appearance doesn’t stop at the business suit or blouse you select; it extends into your workplace habits and surroundings.

According to a recent survey by employment agency, Adecco, a majority of workers (57%) admit to judging a co-worker based on the cleanliness of their workspace.

We have all dealt with looming deadlines and tight schedules, which can lead to struggling to maintain the tidiness of our work spaces. However, neglecting our work area can have negative consequences. A clean workspace is important for your health and your professional image. Here are some tips for keeping your work area organised:

5  Tips for maintaining a tidy desk

  1. Digital storage. Say goodbye to sticky-notes and begin storing your paper files and notes in the cloud. This method can be both liberating and essential.
  2. Finish Projects.  Unclutter your desk and your mind by finishing your projects. Aim to either complete your project straight away, or store it in a drawer for a later time.
  3. Remove Distractions. Cluttered desks are filled with potential distractions. Removing file folders, business cards, and sticky-notes allow our minds to focus more on current projects.
  4. Disinfect Regularly.  Even if you’re tidy, you still need to prevent dust, dirt and food build-up. Give your desk, phone, keyboard and monitor a wipe down once a week.
  5. Clear it. Set aside 5 minutes at the end of each day to clear your desk area. Once this becomes a habit, it will take much less time.

Improve your health with clean desk policy

Microbiologist Dr. Charles Gerba, University of Arizona conducted a survey about how much bacteria is on and around our desks. The results are nothing short of frightening. At his recent TEDx presentation* he explained that the more time we spend at our desks, the more of a bacterial inferno we create. Many eat lunch or snack at the computer, allowing crumbs to fall on the keyboard.

*Skip to 6:18 in the video link to hear Dr. Gerba talk about germs in the workplace.

A clear office desk will grant you more focus, peace of mind, and productivity. Have any tips and tricks of your own? Share in the comments below.