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What Does the State of Your Desk Say About You?

Is organised chaos in the workplace a good or a bad thing?

A few years ago there was a survey conducted which aimed to establish whether the state of employees’ desks influenced their company’s opinion of them. The result discovered that 83% of employers’ perceptions are indeed influenced by how messy their employees’ desks are. But that’s where it ends. We know they’re influenced, but we don’t know to what extent.

Okay, this is the real world, so the smart money is on the fact that they prefer a tidy desk. No mother ever gave her kids treats for having a messy room, and it is more difficult to work from under a mountain of clutter. But what if, hypothetically, bosses preferred a messy desk? Here are some ridiculously flippant reasons why a messy desk is better.

  • It promotes creativity: Having piles of paperwork and limited space presents a logistical issue. But being forced to pile the stacks of paper in ways that still allow you to see your computer and use your phone shows serious creativity, and your boss is sure to be impressed.
  • It shows that you’re actually at work: If your desk it spotlessly clean and you slip off to make a cup of coffee, you risk it looking like you haven’t been at work in weeks. A messy desk, however, proudly displays that you’re stuck in and working hard.
  • It broadcasts your attention to detail: Having Mountains of past paperwork on your desk is a good thing because it shows that you’re invested in past projects. Instead of letting half-finished work simply disappear into the rear-view mirror, you keep it close at hand to chip away at in any spare moment you have.

So, the next time that your boss glances judgmentally at your messy desk, enlighten him or her as to the positive traits it represents. Or, if you live in the real world, get rid of that clutter and get to work.

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