We all suffer from bouts of disorganization in the workplace from time to time, some more than others. While a  bit of untidiness isn’t typically cause for concern, a seriously cluttered desk can cause more issues than an unsightly view for your coworkers. Staying neat in the workplace can affect morale, perceptions of professionalism, and overall efficiency.

Here are potential downfalls of being disorganized, and some ways keeping a neat workspace can help you manage your day to day duties in the most productive way possible:

  • Professionalism  One of the most obvious effects of having a clean and tidy workspace is the appearance of professionalism it exhibits to coworkers and clients. A client will have more trust in you and respect in your abilities when they can see that you can manage something as simple as your office cleanliness.
  • Productivity and Efficiency  Chaos hinders efficiency. A lack of efficiency hinders productivity. When you can’t find a file, when you misplace an important letter or notice, or have to keep a colleague waiting an extra ten minutes because you have to sift through mountains of paperwork to find a document, your productivity is affected. Having a well organized desk ensures that you know where everything is, saving you time and resources.
  • Confidentiality  Possibly the most important reason to keep a tidy desk is the simple factor of confidentiality. Client information, employee personal data, and so much more can be at risk when disorganized piles and unlocked cabinets are an issue. Making certain that you protect confidential information not only ties into professional perceptions of your work habits, but ensures that larger issues don’t arise down the road if private data got into the wrong hands.
  • Morale   Those who take pride in their jobs will take pride in their workplaces. A productive workplace has to be well organized. Productivity leads to satisfied employees. Satisfied employees equals high levels of morale and loyalty. Maintaining high levels of organization can boost morale in the workplace and can promote positive changes at all levels.

If you suffer from a chronically disorganized desk, consider making cleaning up and maintaining a clutter-free workspace one of your resolutions for the new year. Taking a few minutes, an hour, to clean up your office can make a positive impact on your working habits in the long run. Challenge yourself to take the steps necessary to ensure maximum productivity and efficiency in your office space.