Even if your office uses a professional cleaning company to do the “heavy lifting” on a regular basis, there are some quick things your staff can do in between those sessions to improve work flow. These types of cleaning tips are less about cleaning large areas and more about tidying up specific work-related areas.

Get diligent about filing systems or go paperless.

One of the biggest sources of clutter is paper. Between notes, forms, and client files the typical desk has a lot going on. Going paperless wherever possible is the ideal solution, but for offices that have entire systems built around certain paperwork flow the transition to all-digital can be a big move.

Clutter, however, has been consistently linked to stress and feelings of being overwhelmed. How can stacks of papers lead to stress?

Scientists say that whether we’re consciously thinking about it or not, everything we’re looking at is stimulation for the various senses. When you have a cluttered desk full of papers in different places and directions, it’s something that draws the eye while you work. It’s distracting for our brains to process the clutter, and being surrounded by it reminds us of how much we have to do. It can even make us feel like we haven’t accomplished much even if we’ve gotten a lot done.

That affects productivity in a subtle but important way.

Sometimes it takes as little as creating better filing systems that allow paperwork to be dealt with and moved elsewhere. Other times even deciding to deal with the clutter leads to conversations about internal procedures that lead to more efficient work flow. It’s not always what we set out to do at the start, but the results are often positive anyway.

Keep wipes nearby for keyboards and other desk items.

While most commercial cleaning companies will wipe down and sanitize surfaces while they clean your office, you can further cut down on illnesses by being diligent about surfaces in between cleanings. Like any habit we build, the easier we make it to do something the more likely we are to do it.

Keeping sanitary wipes and/or rubbing alcohol nearby makes it easy to wipe the keyboard and phone down each day, which are both things people at desks touch the most. During both cold and allergy seasons this can prevent all sorts of symptoms.

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