The proliferation of self-help books and TV shows dedicated to keeping homes tidy and clean is telling. People are waking up to the idea that decluttering their homes and maintaining order is good for their overall wellbeing and mental health.

Well, the same is true in the workplace.

In the UK, the average employee spends roughly 3,515 days at work, according to the Office of National Statistics. That’s 35 hours a week, representing a good proportion of our lives. With the rise of hybrid working – whereby staff mix being in the office with working from home – we expect more from our places of work. Just as with our homes, we want the offices, depots and facilities we work in to be clean, tidy and hygienic.

The good news for employers is that there are plenty of benefits to maintaining clean offices, helping to boost the mental health, wellbeing and productivity of staff.

First, cluttered and untidy workspaces can lead to increased levels of stress among employees. Having a clean and organised office creates a sense of order and control, reducing feelings of overwhelm and anxiety. It also helps staff to focus better on their tasks when they are not distracted by clutter, leading to a calmer and more relaxed work environment. Having your workflow affected by a distracting environment, can lower job satisfaction. If you’re not able to complete everything you’d hoped to, in the time you’d agreed, it can increase stress levels and make employees feel fearful about approaching their colleagues.

A clean office is typically free of dust, allergens, and germs. Poor indoor air quality and exposure to allergens can lead to respiratory issues and other health problems, impacting overall performance. A clean environment promotes better physical health – and when employees feel physically well, their mental health also improves. In fact, the connection between physical health and mental well-being is a well-documented and intricate one, with profound implications for individuals and society as a whole. The Mental Health Foundation says that, in the UK, around 74% of people have felt so stressed that they have been overwhelmed or unable to cope at some point in the past year. And data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that people who engage in regular exercise are less likely to report symptoms of anxiety and depression.

A well-maintained office space can also foster a sense of pride and ownership. It can create a positive impression on employees and visitors alike, triggering positive attitudes towards the staff and the company.

According to the UK Health and Safety Executive, slips, trips, and falls account for nearly 30% of non-fatal workplace injuries. These accidents can often be traced back to disorganised, cluttered work environments, with objects lying around that may cause accidents or injuries. Maintaining a clean and orderly workspace reduces the risk of such incidents, creating a safe and secure environment.

Having a clean office also reflects a sense of professionalism and attention to detail. This can positively influence the overall workplace culture. When employees see that their employer values a clean and organised space, they are more likely to respect company policies.

A clean office space can also promote a healthy boundary between work and personal life. When employees have a clean workspace, they are less likely to bring work-related stress home with them. This separation can contribute to better work-life balance, which is essential for maintaining good mental health. When employees can leave work at the office, both physically and mentally, they have more time and energy to devote to their personal lives and leisure activities. This separation not only reduces stress but also enhances overall mental well-being.

Professional cleaning services, such as those provided by Cleanology, offer the necessary routine cleaning and specialist cleaning services, like carpet cleaning and deep cleaning.  Daily, weekly or monthly office cleaning services include dusting, vacuuming, mopping, and sanitising workspaces, washrooms and common areas, helping to maintain a consistently clean and hygienic environment. Of course, some industries require more specific cleaning services to achieve the same results, for example, in schools and hospitals.

But there are a few steps employees can take to promote office cleanliness too. For example, why not encourage workers to avoid eating at their desk, and provide a specific break area? Also, by giving employees responsibility for keeping their workstations clean and tidy, you will keep them accountable. This might include wiping surfaces and equipment, and keeping their desks organised and tidy.

A clean office environment goes beyond aesthetics; it significantly impacts employees’ mental health and well-being. By reducing stress, enhancing concentration, improving physical health, fostering a positive workplace culture, and promoting work-life balance, a clean office creates a conducive environment for employees to thrive and perform at their best.

Jade Collazo HR Cleanology
Jade Collazo
HR Director at Cleanology | + posts

As HR Director and Board Member at Cleanology, Jade leads a team of 12 HR professionals, and oversees payroll for its 1,600-member team. Her role involves strategic management of payroll functions, ensuring accuracy and efficiency in compensation processing. Additionally, she heads the HR, recruitment and training teams, focusing on talent development and maintaining a positive workplace culture.