Springtime is nature’s way of clearing the old to make way for new growth, and it’s about time we did the same. The year may be quickly drawing to a close but that shouldn’t leave you losing steam and feeling worn down. It's a good time to let out the stale winter air and welcome the new season with a fresh start.
According to recent surveys , refreshing your desk or office space can provide you with a renewed sense of productivity, increase focus and inspire you to tackle bigger spring-cleaning tasks that loom on the horizon.
Because we know as well as you do how daunting the big spring clean can be, we thought we would share a bit of our own practice-based research on the topic. Here are our eight top tips to spring-clean your workspace and invite the fresh and new spirit of the season into your office.
Tip 1: No clutter, no problem
First things first. Before sprucing up your space, it’s better to start with a clean canvas. We all have ‘that drawer’ in our home or office that tends to accumulate everything from odd safety-clips to junk mail. In the spirit of new beginnings, “out of sight, out of mind” isn’t exactly the solution to wiping the slate clean. So although it may be easier to just forget about the junk-drawer, clearing it out will free up storage space and headspace. You may even find some loose change or that spare key you’ve been looking for. Investing in a stationery tray or desk-set will provide a place for everything and keep everything in its’ place.
Tip 2: Bring the outside in
Adding living plants to your space has been shown (https://bit.ly/2lCI82x) to reduce stress and negative mood states in co-workers, and found to promote wellbeing and performance. If you’re concerned about keeping your plant alive and healthy, there are plenty of options that range from low to high maintenance solutions that are both handsome and hardy. A new plant is sure to liven up the mood in the workspace and give you even more reason to enjoy your revamped desk layout.
Tip 3: Add a personal touch
Try customising and decorating your desk with word-art, personal photo’s and fun trinkets. They can serve as motivational reminders and inspirational pick-me-ups. Cute pictures definitely provide you with office bragging rights and coffee-break conversation topics.
Tip 4: Refresh your tech
Cleaning your office hardware can improve their functionality and life span. Phones, computer screens, keyboards and accessories work hard on a daily basis so that we can work hard too. Thoroughly cleaning and caring for your tech will make it more pleasant to use and decrease the spread of dust and germs. The same goes for your desktop and inbox. Digital clutter can be as much of a hindrance as physical clutter, and a back-log of spam mail and a crowded desktop can slow down both your device and your workflow. Try dedicating some time to organising folders, applications and emails to streamline your work performance even more.
Tip 5: Feng shui? For sure
Have you ever reshuffled furniture in your house or bedroom and felt like you were in a totally new and different space? The same principle may apply to your office. If you are in a position to move a desk to face another way or even to relocate to a different side of the office, the change in the flow of the room might just shift the energy and productivity of the whole room. Be sure to plan any moves ahead of the time to prevent spending time and effort trying out different configurations.
Tip 6: Go green
Fluorescent office lights are infamous for draining energy out of work environments and the power grid. Speak to an office administrator about re-evaluating the energy efficiency of the office by replacing traditional bulbs with power-saving alternatives, creating initiatives to switch off non-essential appliances when not in use and to provide recycling bins for papers and cartons. If your office has windows that can open, try to opt for fresh air (weather-permitting) instead of switching on any air conditioners.
Tip 7: De-clutter and donate
By sorting through and organising your office space, one may come across unnecessary equipment and supplies. If there is a surplus of or duplicates of stationery, cables, furniture or items that are unwanted and still in working order, consider donating those items to an organisation or institution that could benefit from its’ use.
Tip 8: Team work makes the dream work
Sometimes spring-cleaning an office can be a much bigger task than just clearing out a cabinet or two. If your co-workers are up for it, consider banding together and spending a coffee-break putting in a group effort to minimise time and maximise results. Collaborating with colleagues could also pose as an opportunity to bond and connect with people that you usually might not communicate with outside of work settings. Team work can boost staff morale, increase collective productivity and improve communication between co-workers.
Apply that can do attitude
Whether it's a big job or a matter of wiping down your desk and stacking some post-it notes, spending some quality time revamping your work space is sure to stand you in good stead for powering through the last stretch of 2019. Hopefully initiating some spring-cleaning in the office will create the momentum to tackle larger, more daunting cleaning tasks like finally vacuuming behind the fridge or scrubbing the grout in the shower. Chores like this aren’t always guaranteed to be fun, but the sense of satisfaction that follows is usually well worth the effort.