If you run a small business (or even if you manage a big one), you might still believe that in- house office cleaning is a good idea. After all, you’re saving money, right?
Delve a little deeper into the subject, and you soon realize that it’s not quite as simple as that. While there is an upfront cost for getting your office professionally cleaned, there are many side benefits too, some of which can really make a difference.
Studies Suggests That A Clean And Tidy Workspace Boosts Task Completion
Evidence from Harvard University suggests that a tidy workspace might help workers with that they call “persistence” or their willingness to get jobs done. Researchers compared puzzle completion rates of those with clean workspaces to those that were cluttered with all sorts of junk and mess. What they found was interesting: those with a cluttered desk gave up trying to complete the puzzle in just eleven minutes. By comparison, people with a clean and tidy desk continued for eighteen minutes before giving up.
Eleven minutes and eighteen minutes might not sound like much of a difference. But remember, we’re talking about a fifty percent improvement in persistence here just from a little cleaning. That’s quite a substantial difference you wouldn’t expect ahead of time.
Clean Offices May Boost Productivity
The wealth of our companies and society as a whole all comes down to productivity. The more than each person can create or produce in a given time period, the better. Typically, economists saw the addition of capital items (like printers) as the way to boost economic output. But it’s becoming more and more apparent that the limitation to our productivity is our own minds. Many companies now sell the products of human thought.
Getting the most thought out of workers is difficult, especially when their office environments are dirty.
Professionally cleaned offices, however, are likely to lead to a raft of benefits.
- Better focus. Clutter distracts people’s attention. Our brains seem to be hard-wired to become distracted when there’s a mess in a room, and it can take us away from the task at hand. Professional cleaning regularly reduces mess and clutter, leading to better focus.
- Lower stress. Workplace stress and burnout is a serious issue for many employers. A large proportion of workers report that they are chronically stressed, with many taking time off work to recover (not to go on vacation). Clean offices help to reduce stress by enabling the brain to focus solely on the task at hand.
- Higher morale. Do you wish there was something that you could do about morale in your offices? One of the most potent interventions is a clean and tidy office. Workers feel more in control of their environment and are less likely to depressed about their careers.
- Lower rates of absenteeism. If your company has a problem with absenteeism, then a clean office might help. Lost working days are a significant drag on the productivity of the entire economy, costing firms billions every year in costs and lost revenue. Professionally cleaned offices, however, reduce the chances that a person falls sick because of nasty bacteria lurking on their desk.
A Clean Office May Improve Worker Health
Right now, you are probably investing a considerable amount in the health of your workers. Not only might you pay for health insurance, but you could run a variety of wellness programs too or offer free gym membership to staff. None of this is cheap.
Office cleaning, however, provides you with another way to boost the healthfulness of your employees, or at least protect them from bacteria and diseases.
The statistics on office cleanliness are shocking. Did you know that there are 20,000 germs per square inch on office keyboards and mice? It’s true. The average workstation also has more than 400 times more bacteria lurking than your average toilet seat.
Also from the Harvard article above, the average office worker loses nine days per year to preventable illnesses, many of which are caused by bacteria in the office. Remember that viruses such as flu can survive on office keyboards for up to 24 hours, making transmission from worker to worker easy.
Clean offices, however, get around this problem. By cleaning desks and sanitizing workstations, you can improve worker health and hygiene and reduce lost revenues.
So, as you can see, there are all kinds of ways that cleaning is worth the investment. You might pay a fee upfront, but you’re highly likely to make all that money back and then some from savings and productivity improvements elsewhere.