Professional janitorial services will help address multiple factors that play heavily into the psychology of a clean and healthy office space.
Janitorial Services and the Psychology of a Clean Office
The cleanliness of your workspace, especially desk’s and cubicles, has a significant impact on the psychology of your workers and customers.
Recent studies have shown that cluttered desks have a positive influence on creativity, but a negative impact on healthy choices.
However, it is important to take the physiological makeup of the individual into account.
Conflicting studies show clutter causes over-stimulation and distraction for workers, leading to a decrease in efficiency.
Additionally, a cluttered office runs the risk of masking a profound psychological issue, known as hoarding, in susceptible employees.
A Messy Office is a Creative Office?
In a 2013 paper published in Psychological Science, regarding a series of experiments conducted by Kathleen Vohs and a research team from the University of Minnesota, Ms. Vohs is quoted as saying:
Prior work has found that a clean setting leads people to do good things: Not engage in crime, not litter, and show more generosity.
We found, however, that you can get really valuable outcomes from being in a messy setting.
-Association for Psychological Science – Tidy Desk or Messy Desk? Each Has Its Benefits
Some of the most interesting observations that came from the study were:
- Participants in clean offices were more likely to make societally acceptable decisions, such as eating a healthy snack and donating more to charity.
- Those tested in the messy environment were judged to have created much more creative ideas regarding alternative uses for ping pong balls.
The premise being that; when confronted with conventional norms, individuals behave as expected.
However, when placed in a messy environment, traditional models are discarded, and creative results tended to follow.
Ultimately, Ms. Vohs concluded with:
Whether you have control over the tidiness of the environment or not, you are exposed to it and our research shows it can affect you.
The Effect of Clutter on Your Mind
According to Psychology Today, clutter can have a significant negative impact on the human mind.
Potential side-effects of clutter were listed as:
- Over stimulation.
- Reduced focus.
- Feelings of guilt and embarrassment.
- Anxiety, and, oddly enough;
- Reduced creativity.
For More Information:
- Psychology Today – Why Mess Causes Stress: 8 Reasons, 8 Remedies
Psychological Attachments to Clutter
The general rule of thumb regarding office and desk clutter is, if it bothers you, clean it up.
According to Dr. Scott Bea, PsyD., of the Clevland Clinic:
Consider your own productivity.
If you work best when you focus on your projects without a care for stacks of file folders around you, so be it.
But if you are most productive when your desk is cleared off to the essentials, go for it
-Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic – Is Your Desk Messy or Tidy? Find Out What It May Say About You
Unfortunately, clutter may hide a maligned affliction, known as hoarding, proven to cause measurable discomfort in sufferers.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information defines Hoarding Disorder as:
Hoarding disorder (HD), previously considered a subtype of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), has been proposed as a unique diagnostic entity in DSM-5.
Current models of HD emphasize problems of decision-making, attachment to possessions, and poor insight, whereas previous neuroimaging studies have suggested abnormalities in frontal brain regions.
[sic]…a biphasic abnormality in anterior cingulate cortex and insula function in patients with HD related to problems in identifying the emotional significance of a stimulus, generating appropriate emotional response, or regulating affective state during decision making.
Obviously, this type of behavior would result in seriously impacted performance and morale in the workplace and care should be taken when addressing it.
While studies may show conflicting responses as a result of confronting a cluttered office, the ultimate determination of its effect is determined by the individual.
Additionally, some individuals may suffer from Hoarding Disorder and be incapable of making decisions regarding the removal of personal items, or even trash.
Remember, regardless of your position on a cluttered desk or office, clutter is not filth, and no one wants to work in a filthy office.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of professional janitorial services for your business, contact us today for a free quote!
In Bakersfield CA, call (661) 395-3009
In Fresno CA, call (559) 473-1790