Productivity Research Stress

How clutter in the office can hurt the productivity of your team


If you have ever worked in an office that was full of clutter, you might have noticed that you were less productive.

However, you may not have considered that it was actually the clutter around you that was impacting your workflow.

There are many ways in which clutter can decrease the productivity of your team, and here are some of the foremost.




The Causes of Clutter

When you are busy at work, and your team is racing to meet a deadline, it is common to toss aside unused documents and other items so that you can focus on the task at hand. But over time, these items begin to accrue, and if the problem goes unaddressed, you may find yourself working in an environment that is filled with unnecessary clutter. To further complicate this issue, you may be hesitant to get rid of the items for fear that they may be of value in the future, and this is where clutter starts.


Clutter Gets in the Way

It may be surprising to know that clutter can cost you hours of productivity each week, however, research has shown that this can be the case. Just think about the amount of time that it can take to dig through the piles of paper that have accumulated around the office to find the document you are looking for. Even if it only takes a few minutes, that time can add up considerably throughout the course of a day, and by the end of the week the amount of time wasted searching for documents can be staggering. In fact, certain studies have shown that we can spend over an hour each day, or 5 hours per week, navigating through piles of clutter in search of a single piece of information.


Digital Clutter

Stacks of paper and leftover items can be easy to see, and even if we may not realize they are decreasing our ability to work efficiently, there is no doubt that the physical impedance is recognizable. However, clutter can also come in the digital format, and this type of clutter tends to be overlooked. When we fail to delete emails or social networking posts, they too can become an unnecessary distraction. In this case, you may find yourself or members of your team scanning through old posts searching for one in particular, and as with physical clutter, navigating this digital clutter can take up a significant amount of time.


Clutter is Stress Inducing

Even if you are not spending time sifting through clutter or scanning social media posts that you have previously read, in the back of your mind you may be thinking about the clutter, and in turn, this can cause stress levels to increase. When your mind is stressed this can be a distraction which in turn can lead to delays at the office. If you notice that things are starting to become cluttered, it is important to take action by reducing or eliminating the clutter. One of the best ways to get rid of all the clutter is to take it to a storage facility. To find a storage unit near you, consider using online services such as This will help alleviate any clutter-related stress, and it will decrease the chances that your team will be distracted.

As it has been shown, there are various ways that clutter can impact our lives, as well as lead to distractions at the office. As the clutter mounts, we may find ourselves focusing more on navigating the clutter to find items that are needed than we are spending on the task itself. And while it may seem as though clutter is nothing more than an eyesore, it can lead to significant chunks of wasted time and heightened stress levels. The next time you are at the office, determine whether clutter is hindering your team’s output, and if so, take the necessary steps to eliminate it.

Emma Lewis is a loving mother, a devoted wife and a part of the team supporting Spacer – a company helping you find storage space whenever you need it. Emma is also a staunch supporter of the sharing economy and often mentions its benefits.

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