January 14 is National Clean Off Your Desk Day, a longer-than-24-hour period aimed at encouraging everyone to clean their desks, make their offices and workspaces more clutter-free and, most importantly, promote a healthier work area, according to a press release.
"A messy desk says a lot more about a worker today than it did a decade ago," says Matt Morrison, communications manager for Kaivac Inc. "That's because more offices have 'open' plans today; we can see each other's workspaces, making it easier to draw comparisons."
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A 2012 survey by Adecco Staffing US revealed that nearly 60 percent of American workers admit judging their coworkers by how clean or dirty they keep their desks; nearly half are "appalled" by how messy some colleagues keep their work areas.
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According to the release, Morrison suggests doing the following in honor of National Clean Off Your Desk Day:
Set a specific time each business day to tidy-up, tossing items no longer needed and filing those that are not needed right away.
Do not make piles; instead, find places for your important items.
Making piles of paperwork does not reduce clutter — it creates more clutter.
You should establish "zones" on your desk and around your workspace for different projects, books, paperwork, files, etc., and try and store these items on shelves, in filing cabinets or digitally — somewhere off your desk.
Using desks as dining tables not only soils them, but it can also increase the amount of germs and bacteria on them. Plus, studies have found that the desk in your office or at your workstation — not to mention the computer keyboard and mouse — is likely to be contaminated with more microorganisms than a public toilet seat.
It is important to stay organized each day so that clutter does not quickly return and revert all of your efforts.
Plus, if people maintain their clutter-free workspaces and clear their desks each evening before clocking out, it allows custodial workers to hygienically clean, sanitize or disinfect them without being intrusive or disturbing personal and work-related items.
Click here to read the release in its entirety.