I'm the first to admit that I have a super messy desk.  But I've always been told the messy desk usually belongs to a creative person who gets more done.  But I just ran across a survey about messy desks.  I sure hope my boss isn't judging me.


According to a new survey by OfficeMax, having a messy desk could actually be holding back your career.

53% of people surveyed say they think negative things about coworkers who have messy desks.  40% . . . including managers and bosses . . . say that they think a messy desk is a sign that the person is lacking in other aspects of their job too.

13% of people say they have a lower overall opinion of their messy coworker AS A HUMAN BEING.  4% say it's a sign you're really bad at your job.  And 3% think a messy desk is a sign that you're NOT SMART.

46% of the people surveyed said that they're planning to try to keep their work space cleaner this year than they did last year.

77% say that when things are messy or cluttered, it hurts their productivity.  And 9% say that being surrounded by a mess makes them GAIN WEIGHT.

If you ever wondered about your desk style here's what your desk mess says about you:

The Super-Organized Desk: This functional workplace is very neat with no frills or personal clutter. Likely to be a super-efficient secretary or assistant, only the essentials are prominent; a pen, notebook and stapler. They want to feel needed and can be very charming when they feel others are relying on them. This desk personality can be subject to mood swings and may disguise a chip on its owner’s shoulder from lack of appreciation.

The Organized Chaos Desk: This personality has piles of paper, overflowing onto the floor and window seat. The owner will claim to have a “filing-system” where they can easily find what they are looking for. There may be multiple sticky notes wallpapering the room with reminders and to-do items. To cope with the pressures and stress, this person frequently gets up to warm up their coffee or have a cigarette break. While likely to be a workaholic, they are fun to chat with and are flexible and brilliant for brainstorming.

The Creative Chaos Desk: This desk is filled with an interesting array of clutter revealing a creative and agile mind. Not focused on technology, this owner is a great source of ideas. They are always on the go and only vaguely know where everything is that they are working on. They may misplace projects or papers. Easily distracted, this person tends to be a lateral thinker.

The Personality Extension Desk: Covered with dozens of personal touches, this desk displays poster, photos, holiday cards and zany mouse-mats. The owner may even keep personal items such as vitamin pills, hand cream or perfume easily accessible. This personality is very energetic, and keeps food, drink and other items readily available for quick nourishment. They are friendly and talkative but may not be discreet with confidential information.

The Show Desk: This desk has been carefully scripted to present an image of the importance of its occupant. It is very large with few items visible and no personal memorabilia. Giving the impression of space and control, this individual is like to have a double sided personality. Although friendly in a social group, they become coldly professional once behind the desk. Few people at work will ever know the real person behind the façade.

The Trophy Desk: This workspace is messy and covered with items that reflect its owner’s social, professional or financial success. These “trophies” may include awards, plaques, pictures of expensive holidays, or sporting equipment. While the look may appear random, each item is strategically placed for maximum effect and visibility. Desktop accessories will be bold and brightly colored. These people tend to think big and are natural leaders, but need to be appreciated or they may sulk or have a tantrum.

(via The People Pro: Productivity-What is Your Desk Personality?.)

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