Our place of work has a profound impact on our wellbeing. In fact, stress is the most common work-related illness in the UK and, unfortunately, has been gradually worsening with the aftermath of the 2019 pandemic combined with the current cost-of-living crisis.
While there are a number of office-based factors that contribute to a highly stressed workforce, a cluttered office space is often cited as contributing factor, doing little for concentration, creativity and productivity. Overcrowded desks, noise pollution, colleagues in close proximity and excess clutter do not a healthy and organised environment make!
Believe it or not, the solution to this predicament lies in simplicity - a stress-free environment that created with intelligent office spacing and insightful furniture choices. Add in some ample office storage to keep clutter at bay and you’ve got the start of a more productive and empowering working environment.
Simply put, cleanliness equals productivity.
Let’s look at a few tips for keeping your office space clutter-free.
1- Consider your office requirements
The first step in cleaning a cluttered office is addressing where the issue lies.
Ask yourself what the clutter in your space actually is, and you’ll realise it’s a build-up of items that have been re-allocated/cast aside for future use. Are your team ever going to use them or are they holding onto them for the sheer sake of it?
Decluttering your office space involves analysing the space you have available and considering how well-utilised it is by your workforce. Is there a section of the room that remains unused? Does everyone flock to one area at break times? Perhaps everyone likes the desking setup by the open window?
Once you’ve established the most popular uses within your office space, and the most commonly sought-after spaces, you can start to reorganise to create a more functional environment with the office furniture that facilitates these needs.
You’ve identified what your team need, and want, to use, now you can start the declutter! If you haven’t used something for several months, the likelihood of you ever needing it are slim. Maybe you need to ditch a few of your unused chairs and invest in a comfortable sofa for staff to take some time out, or invest in new stylish office storage solutions that allow you to keep important items at hand without cluttering up your new space. Simply reassessing your workspace should give you clear and simple actions that you can deliver to start your journey of decluttering your space. Your furniture choices will help you achieve those actions in a stylish, yet functional way.
2- Space for everyone
Traditional office layouts have become a thing of old for good reason. Closed plan structures lack innovative office furniture, cohesive modern design and restrict employees to work in limited areas.
It’s easy to see how clutter builds up in these smaller, cut off areas. Small, cramped, allocated desks leave a lot to be desired!
Open plan, flexible offices provide a wide space that is available to everyone. That means, no allocated spaces or personal clutter in one space but a wide range of spaces for different people with different working requirements. A universal cloakroom and break room, a relaxation spot with a neat array of magazines…the possibilities are endless.
With a flexible set up, staff are less inclined to bring unnecessary items into the office as they can access everything they require at work. You’ll also find that your office design can be a catalyst to a clutter free environment as your workforce will enjoy their new spaces and take more pride in keeping them tidy and accessible to the rest of the team.
3- Tidy desks
There’s nothing worse than a cluttered desk. It does little for productivity and serves as a deterrent for the ‘clean area, clean mind’ mantra.
Under-desk storage solutions are a terrific way of keeping pens, papers and documents out of the way and can also be a great place for those sneaky snacks and sandwiches that keep finding their way to the surface!
It’s at this point that we ask if you have a breakout area, and if you haven’t, why not? Breakout areas are the ideal solution for separating work from break times (as well as elevating employee wellbeing to new heights!) while putting an end to that unnecessary clutter!
We could go on…
Why not enforce a ‘no-eating-at-desk-policy’? You’re ensuring that food and drink items remain firmly in the breakout area without cluttering the desk area. Encourage your employees to store reusable cups and cutlery at work and you’re also doing your bit for sustainability!
It’s also worth noting that eating at a desk is often synonymous with a busy workload which offers little in the form of wellbeing. By delegating food and drink breaks to your break room, your employees are gaining valuable time out to reboot their energy levels.
(If, on the odd occasion, a working lunch is required/desired, introduce a benching arrangement that moves staff away from their own desks. The time remains productive, just in a casual but delegated area!)
4- Functional office storage
We’ve all seen the images on Pinterest and Instagram; the minimalist office with clinical furniture and a scattering of foliage here and there. While it’s a lovely thought, it isn’t realistic, and once you’ve got a full workforce inhouse, the clutter can really start to mount up.
If you’ve got a whole load of office-related ‘stuff’ that needs a home, abandon the new yucca plant you’ve got your eyes on and consider an inventive and quirky storage option that looks as great as it functions.
Create a seamless industrial look within the office for a less formal look. Relic storage looks stunning whilst being an ideal solution for storage (You can even put your yucca on top of it!).
How about a two-in-one solution? Collaboration meets storage! Snugglestor offers an impromptu seating/meeting/relaxing area that can break up storage units or come with storage options above and below the alcove?
Innovative and flexible storage space that can be utilised for a comfortable sit down! That’s
multitasking for you!
5- Personal storage
The majority of your employees will have personal belongings. Coats draped over chairs, bags on the floor, drinks on the desk, the epitome of a cluttered office! If you want to unsee this picture, the only option is to provide personal storage space.
Lockers are a great solution for the evolution of shared working spaces, particularly with the rapid emergence of hot desking and hybrid working. Whether popping in for a couple of hours or spending the day, locker cabinets are a versatile solution for employees that need somewhere secure for their personal storage.
If you want a personal option to represent your brand, the HotLocker system provides that element of individuality. Tech-enabled personal storage spaces allow agile workers to assign themselves a locker using their phone and a central self-service terminal.
As well as ensuring that personal belongings are safely stored away, they provide a great selling point for your office space.
Bonus tip- Cable management
Tangled, messy cables are an office’s worst nightmare. Aside from being difficult to navigate and a potential trip and fire hazard, poor cable management is an eyesore that does little to encourage a calm mindset.
If you’re already deeply embedded in a sea of tangled wire, the only solution is a mass detangle and the implementation of cable tidies to offer some semblance of organisation. However, a better modern solution exists by choosing furniture with integrated cable management systems. For example, choosing height-adjustable desking that offers intelligent cable management options can create a visual, physical and mental boost to the working practices of your team.
Try a standard desking arrangement to complement any contemporary office while providing a wide range of cable management accessories. If an ergonomic desking option is more suitable, cable management is a given as well as additional options for integrated storage.
After a standing desk? Fear not, there’s even an option to keep staff on their toes without tripping on hazardous wires!
Once you’ve made your mind up that sub-standard cable management is a no-go, you’ll find an array of office furniture options that serve to counter the issue from the outset.
A final thought…
While it can be nigh on impossible to attain the perfect flawless office space, there are endless benefits to having an office detox from time to time. This doesn’t need to be a huge operation, and it can be a great opportunity for team bonding and wider buy in from your employees to your vision of a decluttered space. A semi-regular de-cluttering session means that you and your team get to work in a healthy, happy environment that aids wellbeing, creativity, and productivity. It's also a great incentive to maintain tidiness and save more time for socialising on your monthly de-clutter session!
If you’re not in the position to invest in any of our recommended office furniture pieces, but want to instantly benefit from some of the ideas and options we have outlined above, don’t forget we offer a full rental option that allows for greater freedom with no commitment.