Is an untidy desk bad for productivity?
There’s an old saying in business that a tidy desk is a tidy mind. While it would be ideal for every desk to be clean and free of clutter, it is fair to say that everyone is different.
Some employees like to have all their personal belongings stacked next to their computer, with not a cup out of place. However, others find this horrifying and prefer a more spread out feel.
While employers might have preference for what they like, according to a new survey, it might not matter when it comes to creativity and productivity.
OfficeTeam surveyed more than 300 HR managers with more than 20 employees and asked a simple question: Which one of the following statements most closely describes your perception of someone at work who has a messy desk?
The majority of respondents (59 per cent) indicated that it was OK to have a messy desk and that they didn’t judge them on it. Just under one-third (32 per cent) stated that it wasn’t good to have a messy desk and that they would question the employee’s organisational skills and effectiveness.
A total of 9 per cent that it was fine to have a messy desk and that it was a sign of creative person.
Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam explained that as long as you were competent in your job, it shouldn’t matter what your desk looked like – within reason of course.
“Although not everyone cares about how your desk looks, having a messy workspace could lead others to question your professionalism,” he said in a January 20 media statement.
“Keep your desk tidy and you’ll be able to find what you need more quickly and increase your work efficiency.”
If paperwork does commonly pile up, it could be time to consider other options such as HR management software. By taking all HR process onto software, it becomes easier to track information and find necessary data across your desk.