If you’re in work, take a look at your desk. What do you see? Notepads, paper and stationery scattered across the place? Or a few orderly files, a cleaned-out coffee cup (on a coaster) and a well pruned potted plant?Here’s a closer look at what your desk space says about your work – so even if you’re not operating a clear desk policy, don’t worry: you might just be a creative genius. Judge and dread Cleanliness matters: research carried out by digital marketing software company Marketo found that 57 per cent of American workers admit that they judge co-workers based on how clean – or how dirty – they keep their desks. Nearly half of all those asked admitting that they have been ‘appalled’ by the messiness of certain colleagues. The same study found that 90 per cent of workers believe clutter has a negative impact on the work, with 77 per cent saying that it negatively affects their productivity. Perhaps now is the time to have that clear out. A riot of ideas Or perhaps not. Psychological scientists at the University of Minnesota found that a messy setting can have positive outcomes, particularly when it comes to creativity. They asked participants in a study to come up with new uses for table tennis balls. In a messy room, the ideas people came up with were judged to be more interesting and original than by those who generated ideas while sat in a tidy office space. Kathleen Vohs, who was part of the team of research scientists, believes their findings suggest that being in a messy room encourages creativity. “Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights,” she concludes.
Read more on the office environment:
- How your office space can be adapted to attract new graduate talent
- Piers Linney: Despite tech surge and scaremongering, the office still has life in it
- The 50 methods office workers use to relieve stress – any of them sound familiar?
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