How To Ask Messy Employees To Keep A Clear Desk?

Cleanliness means different for different people. For some, it is a spotless and perfectly organized home or workplace, whereas for some it may be days until a person cleans up the place.

For a person who is messy and make go days or even months to clear a place, sharing the workplace with such a person becomes a pain. Especially in office, where clientele and colleagues pass by or visit their desk, an unclean desk is undoubtedly a no-go place. In such a case, the following are a few things one can do to initiate cleanliness and organizing culture in the workplace:

Messy Employee To Clear Desk

Clean Desk Policy

Clean Desk Policy

Unclean at work:

Some people like working in a messy environment and function well in a disorganized surrounding, their productivity and creativity sharpens and increases in messiness.  In such a case, it is feasible to let the person organize a desk enough to impress the clientele and the co-workers to avoid any negligence for them.

Talk alone:

To avoid any embarrassment while at work, it is essential to discuss the cleanliness issue after work or when the colleagues are away. Let the person know about his unclean workplace affecting his performance and his colleagues and ensure the person sorts it out soon to maintain a coordinated work culture in the office.


Tell the employee proper ways to clean the work desk and guide him as to how efficiently the counter can be decorated to motivate him for a cleaner workplace.


Make it a point to highlight items that the employee should regularly clean before leaving office, like the opened food cans, messy files or papers and paper clips around. Ensure that the employee organizes such items before he/she vacates the office building.


Getting the employee to inculcate a habit of organizing and putting things in place after use would bring the messy employee to book. It will also make him eager to arrange things on a healthy level and make the workplace clean and a better place.

ASK Employees To Keep A Clear Desk

Reduce Paperwork:

Some employees have a disorganized and unclean desk because of a considerable amount of paperwork and files on their office. Reduce the burden of paperwork by transforming work into the digital medium as much as possible. The person can also be given software solutions to reduce paperwork and filing cabinets to remove clutter from their desks. For employees who have to conduct regular fieldwork and then resort to office, a tablet equipped with the required software solutions and applications in place can be a huge help.


If the employee still has messy workplace issues that affect the co-workers, it is better to shift that employee to another desk a different part of the office. Open office environments are a rage nowadays, with private spaces for a person to work efficiently without any trouble or disturbance, whatsoever, from fellow people. If the issues persist in a shared workspace, one can start by addressing a meeting with the entire group highlighting the importance of cleanliness. The employer, can also have a one-to-one talk with the messy employee and address the complaints about his nasty attitude.

Office Clean up Day:

A messy employee can damage the entire workplace environment. If the messiness goes beyond clutter and includes food substances, the office administration must intervene and address the issue. If more than one area is contaminated and remain messy, scheduling an office clean up day is the best option for the administration.

Messy employees are a nuisance, really, and can upset the office. The result comes as regular complaints and an unhealthy workplace environment. With wise and efficient handling by office administration, the messy employee can be dealt with, without offending anyone or disrupting any work productivity.

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Anna Verasai
Anna Versai is a Team Writer at The HR Digest; she covers topics related to Recruitment, Workplace Culture, Interview Tips, Employee Benefits, HR News and HR Leadership. She also writes for Technowize, providing her views on the Upcoming Technology, Product Reviews, and the latest apps and softwares.

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