28 Jun 2012

Clutter in the Workplace

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We’ve been thinking lately about how clutter migrates and its effect on other areas of one’s life.  A clutterer at home seems likely to have a cluttered office, and taking work home is bound to add to a cluttered home environment.  According to the PBS Nightly Business Report, employees take up to $50 billion worth of office supplies every year.  Where do they store all of the pads, pens and paperclips at home?

A cluttered workplace can impact an employee’s productivity, too.  A 2010 white paper from Brother International Corporation indicates that “the cost of workplace disorganization may go far beyond just monetary loss.  Responses gathered from nearly 800 U.S. employees hint that the search for lost and misplaced materials – which accounts for nearly 38 hours, or approximately one work week annually, per employee – may have a profound impact on professional perception, productivity and morale.”

Plus, people with cluttered home environments can become sleep deprived and/or depressed, thus they can be somewhat slower in thought and action than they would otherwise be.  HR Magazine in November 2005 reports that up to 20 percent of the U.S. population has a problem with timeliness, and tardiness costs U.S. businesses more than $3 billion each year in lost productivity.  An employee who is late 10 minutes each day has taken the equivalent of an extra week’s paid vacation each year.

That’s up to two weeks lost productivity each year from each employee suffering from disorganization, and that’s not all.  The worse the clutter at home, especially if it approaches hoarding, the less sanitary some areas become.  The increase in dust, mold, pet dander, etc. can lead to an increased use of sick days.

I think that companies should consider adding Professional Organization services to their Employee Assistance Plans (EAPs).  The return to the company would be significant, and the benefits to the suffering employee would be immeasurable.

About the Author

works mostly behind the scenes at Conquer the Clutter, supporting Maria's efforts to make the world a neater place to live.

One Response to Clutter in the Workplace
  1. Never knew this, thank you for letting me know.

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