Office cleanliness is such a basic essential, we can undervalue it at times. We all know about the downsides of sub-par office conditions. Of course, no one wants to use neglected restrooms and break rooms, or work in a dusty, dirty, messy, unsanitary environment.

Maintaining an immaculate workspace isn’t just about eliminating obvious distractions. Let’s not overlook the tangible benefits of a clean workspace. A clean, tidy office can effectively boost your staff’s productivity.

If you’re wondering how a clean office can boost productivity, we’ve got you covered. 

We’ll explore the relationship between clutter and stress, cleanliness and professionalism, and the benefits of a clean workspace. A cleaner office increases employee productivity by reducing stress, increasing employee motivation and focus, streamlining tasks, and promoting health. Read to the end for actionable steps to get there, plus some helpful FAQs.

The Relationship Between Stress and Clutter

As many as 70% of workers find themselves distracted at work, and messy workplaces are a big contributor.

A disorderly working environment can have a detrimental impact on productivity, even when we don’t notice. There are a variety of reasons we may not perform our best in an unkempt or cluttered office.

Messy workspaces contribute to stress in the following ways:

  • A cluttered office overstimulates us with sensory stimuli. Visual, olfactory, and tactile distractions impede our ability to focus on tasks.
  • Disorganization keeps the brain in a state of hypervigilance, feeling our work is never done. In this anxious state, it’s hard to relax mentally and physically.
  • An unclean office subconsciously reinforces a sense of inaction and irresponsibility, resulting in feelings of guilt and embarrassment.
  • It takes longer to find important items we might need to locate fast, generating frustration.
  • Untidy workspaces encroach on our physical space. Clutter is the antithesis of the feeling of open space our minds need for productivity and creativity.

Up next, we’re explaining how a cleaner office provides an ideal foundation for the creativity, focus, streamlining, balance, and motivation employees need to achieve their full potential.


How a Clean Office Can Boost Productivity

With fewer distractions, stressors, and frustrations from clutter and unpleasant sensory experiences, a clean and organized office gives us open space for our minds to function optimally. Here are some of the reasons a clean office can boost productivity.

A Clean Office Eases Stress

We already reviewed how clutter and an unclean office interferes with what we’re trying to do, leading to frustration and stress. The stress from a messy workspace weighs even heavier on those with anxiety, depression, and learning differences.

On the other hand, a properly cleaned office is naturally a more comfortable and relaxing place. We feel happier and more at ease, so our brains can cooperate with what we’re trying to do.

A Clean Office Drives Motivation and Focus

Nobody feels equipped to take on the work day if they’re forced to work in a dusty, unhygienic, or chaotic workplace. Something about it feels like no one cares, so the work can’t matter much.

Conversely, a clean space is a positive and affirming working environment, and a more positive mood fuels us with the energy and enthusiasm to get things done. Unburdened from stress and distractions, our minds have more wavelength to concentrate on our top priorities. 

This could be why 94% of workers report feeling more productive in a clean workspace, with 77% feeling they produce higher quality of work.

We Find Important Items Faster in a Clean Office

We’ve all struggled to find an important piece of paperwork or other items amid an avalanche of stuff or a cluttered desk when an office is in disarray. According to the International Data Corporation, searching for lost documents could be responsible for $2.5 million in productivity losses for businesses.

Instead, when we keep the office clean and declutter desks, we know where everything is without having to search or dig around. We can find what we need faster and without a hassle. This makes a huge difference if we’re already pressed for time.

A Clean Office is a Healthier Environment

Did you know the average desktop can host 400x the bacteria of a toilet? With everyone sharing the same space and touching the same surfaces all week, no wonder we tend to get each other sick at work. 

Everyone dreads those weeks or months when the whole office passes around some bug like an awful domino effect. When illness-causing germs thrive at work, at best we’re not operating at 100%, and at worst we have to take sick days to recover. Falling behind can make the backlog of work pile up fast for individual employees and the whole workforce.

High standards of cleanliness at work help us stay healthier. We do better when we feel physically better, and we accomplish more when we’re able to show up rather than being sick at home.

How Does a Clean Office Affect Your Company’s Image?

It’s probably not just employees coming into the office regularly. Your workplace’s presentation matters to the business associates, job candidates, customers or clients, and any other guests who visit. 

You can’t skimp on office cleaning, because you risk making a bad impression or even outright disrespecting important visitors. The condition of a company’s physical space reflects their image, brand, and professionalism. A clean space represents overall diligence, competence, and attention to detail.

People will likely notice the second-hand impact of a clean office, too, when your employees are happier, more focused, energetic, and capable. Whether it’s a potential business partner, client/customer, or new employee, you must inspire confidence in your company and its mission.

What Office Areas Should You Always Clean?

Since we’ve discussed the benefits of a clean workspace, let’s move on to the real-life steps you can take to reap the aforementioned benefits. High-traffic sections of the office need the most frequent and attentive cleaning and these high-traffic areas are:

Entryways and Hallways

Everyone travels through the entryways and hallways first to get to the office. Not only is it the very first impression, but also, it’s a prime location for dirt and dust to get tracked in from inside and then throughout the building.

So here are the most important steps in regularly cleaning entryways and hallways:

  • Disinfect the doorknobs or door handles
  • Clean windows and wipe away smudges
  • Dust from floor to ceiling
  • Clean any upholstery
  • Sweep, vacuum, and/or mop the floor
  • Organize any objects on surfaces
  • Remove any trash

Work Areas

We already mentioned how many germs can live on a desk. The same is true for phones, office supplies, chairs, etc. All offices, desks, and cubicles are home to tons of germy frequent touch points, because they’re the most lived-in areas.

This is how you can keep work areas clean:

  • Empty waste baskets
  • Organize items
  • Wipe/dust all surfaces, especially electronics
  • Vacuum and clean the floor
  • Clean the upholstery


It doesn’t need explaining why it’s necessary to regularly clean and disinfect the bathrooms:

  • Empty trash
  • Restock consumable supplies like tissue, soap, sanitizer, and paper towels
  • Clean the floors
  • Scrub the toilets
  • Wipe down stalls, counters, and sinks
  • Disinfect surfaces, focusing on frequent touch points

Common Spaces

Waiting areas, breakrooms, and kitchens also need attentive routine cleaning. People may be using TV remotes, making and drinking coffee, preparing and eating meals, presenting more opportunities for germs to spread. 

Take these steps to keep germs under control:

  • Restock supplies like paper towels
  • Wipe down all countertops and other touchpoints like light switches and TV remotes
  • Take out the trash
  • Scrub the sink and wash any dishes
  • Organize items
  • Wipe out appliances like microwaves, coffee makers, refrigerators
  • Disinfect all surfaces
group cleaning the office area

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a clean environment do for your productivity?

A clean work environment improves productivity, motivation, focus, and mood.

How does a messy desk affect workflow?

A messy desk impedes focus, heightens stress, and makes it harder to find important documents in a timely manner.

Do people work better in a cleaner environment?

People feel better in a cleaner workspace, often reporting they work more productively and produce a higher quality of work.

What is the most cost-efficient way to keep an office clean?

In comparison to in-house cleaners and assigning cleaning duties to office staff, hiring professional cleaners is the most cost-efficient way to keep an office clean.

Need Help Improving Workplace Cleanliness?

Are you trying to level up the productivity of your employees by providing a cleaner office? Dallas Janitorial Services offers commercial disinfecting, cleaning, day porter, and janitorial services to a wide range of businesses in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. 

With 24/7 availability and excellent customer service, we can accommodate your every office cleaning need. Contact us today for a free quote.

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