As you’d expect from an office supplies company, here at Loco (http://www.Loco.ie) we’ve always been proponents of clean, de-cluttered office desks and workstations. After all, we stock thousands upon thousands of office products which are designed to organise your desktop stationery and paper supplies so you can work more effectively. However, new research indicates that messy office desks could in fact help employees to think more clearly!
Scientists from the University of Groningen in Germany found that people who worked on messy office desks (as well as from messy shop fronts), thought more clearly than those with organised, mess-free work areas. It is thought that working among chaos makes the brain seek order and therefore organise thoughts in a clear and concise way.
The researchers behind the study say, “Messy desks may not be as detrimental as they appear to be, as the problem-solving approaches they seem to cause can boost work efficiency or enhance employees’ creativity in problem solving. Business and government managers often promote ‘clean desk’ policies to avoid disorganised offices and messy desks, for the purpose of boosting work efficiency and productivity. This practice is based on the conventional wisdom that a disorganised and messy environment can clutter one’s mind and complicate one’s judgements. However, not all evidence supports this conventional link between a messy environment and a messy mind.”
Those who still believe that tidy office desks lead to tidy minds can take comfort in the fact that the study revealed that not all people found their mind was ordered if their desks were not, however. Strangely, while conservatives among the study group did think more clearly when using messy office desks, political liberals weren’t particularly concerned about the state of their desk to begin with and so it had little effect on their thinking or productivity.
So why not use this new research to explain to your boss why your desk is piled high with files, old, opened envelopes and various office products – you’re not being messy, you’re being productive!