Got A Messy Work Desk? Study Reveals What Your Coworkers Really Think Of You

from Fast Company

What does a worker’s messy desk signify to the greater office? Unfortunately, far more than just an inability to organize bobbleheads or throw away empty La Croix cans.

A new study finds that an untidy work space leads colleagues to perceive that the person is more neurotic, less agreeable, and pretty uncaring.

Researchers and psychologists from the University of Michigan Flint and Ann Arbor conducted three experiments in which 160 participants were randomly assigned to sit in three offices: one that was clean and uncluttered, one that was “somewhat” messy, and one that was “very” messy.

The tidy office boasted all the markings of a put-together employee. It had neatly stacked papers, upright books and journals on bookshelves, organized drawers with handwritten tables, and, of course, garbage in the wastebasket.

The “somewhat” messy office included tilted books, papers on the floor, and a wall clock that was an hour off. The next iteration–the “very” messy office–was an even dirtier and more cluttered version of that, with pretty much everything in disarray. The study’s participants were then asked to share their opinions of the offices’ owners based on their time in each space.

More here.

54 Responses to Got A Messy Work Desk? Study Reveals What Your Coworkers Really Think Of You

  1. Douglas Tkac December 7, 2018 at 1:20 am #

    Personally, I feel as if this article and study about cleanliness can expand beyond the just the office setting and can surprisingly indicate how a person might operate or conduct themselves.

    The adjectives that were used by the participants in the study conducted by the University of Michigan Flint and Ann Arbor were pinpoint accurate with “careless, cranky and uncaring” (Raphael 2018). Even though that this study might come across as ground-breaking news to some, I feel as if there’s a direct correlation to messiness and how a person might be operating themselves.

    In terms of the workplace, I’ve worked at two minor-scale jobs (both within the food industry) and both preached thorough, extensive cleaning procedures and habits, regardless if the day is hectic or if the day is extremely slow. However, within my latest living situations at Seton Hall University, I find that I can relate to this article and agree with what they found based on the living situations rather than the workplace.

    I have lived on campus for all 3 of my semesters so far in a dormitory setting, where the rooms were set up double-suite style (meaning each dorm had two bedrooms with two or three students to a room, and their own personal bathroom to keep track of). In my first semester as a student living on campus, my roommates were randomly assigned with little to no knowledge background of what kind of a person they are. As the weeks went on and the semester dragged, I found that the suite-mates who didn’t keep their part of the room organized neatly had a higher tolerance for bad grades, skipping classes and seeming not to care. This also translated to the following year, noticing that the ones who usually didn’t keep their areas clean usually could care less about the cleanliness, among other things.

    There’s occasionally some type of article that floats around the internet that usually tries to defend having cluttered areas of work-space or living space, saying that “messier is better” for some abstract reason. However, as my own eye test as shown me so far, cleanliness definitely correlates to how a person conducts themselves, whether it is their living quarters or work-space.

  2. Jaden Tate December 7, 2018 at 2:09 pm #

    This study I believe is beneficial for many college students, as well as those who work desk jobs. From personal experience, I can tell you that I do get a lot more done when everything on my desk is organized. For example, this past week when I was studying for my accounting final I was really struggling to focus when all of my papers were thrown all around the table. As soon as I cleaned it up and organized it, I was able to get so much more done than when all my papers were thrown around. I am actually not able to work at a desk that does not have plenty of room for me to spread out all of my papers. I have to be able to see everything as well as spread it all out. Teachers are ones that I believe need to keep their desk in order. Teachers that have the messy desks when I go to see them are the ones that either give the horrible lectures or are never prepared when they come to class. They are also the ones that are extremely lazy, and when you ask them a question, they can never give you a straight answer. In the article when it spoke about a clean and messy office, I do not think that the clean ones exist. In the offices that I have walked into with the many desks, I believe that they would like categories in the middle group or the messy one. Rarely do I ever see that books on the bookshelf are placed where it needs to be as well as every single desk is neat and tidy. The neat and tidy offices I believe are only in the movies and sometimes they are too busy trying to keep up their image of neat and tidy that they do not get stuff done. Overall, I believe that this article should be shown in many colleges across the country as well as they should expand on their research. If they were able to gather more data to prove that by having a clean desk you become more efficient, I believe it would be able to do wonders.

  3. Robert Musantry December 7, 2018 at 3:32 pm #

    When I first read this article, the conclusion that the study was going to come to seemed obvious. People with messier desks are more disorganized. That seems like common sense to me. But the details show a little more analysis, as the study discovered how people judge other people in the workplace based on the tidiness (or lack thereof) of their desk. The subjects in the study said that the owner of the messier workspace would be less caring, less agreeable, and even neurotic. This may seem unfair to us outsiders, just looking at the study. I mean, who are these people to set up a study that purposely makes people judge others without meeting them. But in reality, what the study shows is something that we all do on a daily basis. I know that personally, my desk in my dorm room is very messy, and whenever somebody sees it, they always ask how I survive like that. It is because we think of being messy or disorganized as a bad sign, saying something is wrong. I do not necessarily believe this, because I find that I care a lot about my work and I am a pretty agreeable person, even with my workspace in the condition it is in. Basically, I think it boils down to me just not wanting to clean my desk up and does not reveal that much about my personality, but this belief cannot stop others from forming conclusions about me.
    Now, a separate study mentioned in the article looked at productivity as it relates to having a clean workspace. This study has much more value, in my opinion. If somebody is not getting their work done because of clutter, then it is a problem. But in general, if that is the way they operate, then I say let them be. It is only when it begins to affect productivity that it is a problem. Of course, that is my opinion, and these studies do show that other people do not share this opinion and instead believe that clutter and uncleanliness are negative personality traits that can affect relationships and how people view other people.

  4. Shaunak Rajurkar December 7, 2018 at 6:19 pm #

    It comes as no surprise that people think negatively of uncleanliness. Perhaps it should be assumed that any minor negative reaction can be re-scaled and amplified based on the situation. If a response to an unsettling stimuli is slightly negative, we should assume that the emitter of the stimuli is already at a social disadvantage.

    The implications of the study seem to indicate both assumed and tested disadvantages to a messy office. Colleagues will see the inhabitant of the messy office as less conscientious, caring, and more cranky. Furthermore, the level and length of a focused work period is at a lower concentration duration in the messy office. The effects on the inhabitant of the messy work space are likely much greater than the effects on a temporary observer. It almost inevitably affects focus and quality of work – I can see this in my own studies.

    Most people are at their most disorganized when they’re in college, usually as a result of the constant chaos from academia, recreation, extra curriculars, and the party scene. This lifestyle leaves almost no time for cleaning and due diligence (outside of school). Maybe if college students paid more attention to the organization of their works spaces, they would be more successful in each facet of their lives, and their peers and professors would see them in a better light.

  5. Cassie Sibilski December 7, 2018 at 6:21 pm #

    This brief article was very interesting to read about. It talked about how someone’s workspace or room or anything really that is messy and/or unorganized can signify to other people negative vibes. The study described in the article signals that people find that people with a messy territory are not agreeable, neurotic, and other negative qualities. This is because someone who keeps their space unclean comes off as someone that may not be an easy person to deal with and could mean they are lazy, or can’t keep focus long enough to clean a workspace, qualities you wouldn’t want in an employee or coworker. The article describes the importance of keeping your workspace clean and tidy because it gives off the vibe that you care about what your doing and will make you look more pulled together overall. This is an extremely important thing that contributes to how you are viewed at work that I feel is often overlooked. I think that people nowadays need to think further into how they behave and present themselves at work, rather than only focusing on the physical work that they are completing. Because let’s face it, appearances are important and ultimately give off the first impression people have of you, and the same goes for the appearance and organization of your workspace. It gives off the feeling tj your employer that you care and are able to complete a simple task. If you don’t keep your workspace clean, people will no doubt be taking note of it and it will ultimately affect how you are viewed around the office. No one wants to be viewed as a slob, so don’t present anything about yourself that way.

  6. Paul Lee December 7, 2018 at 6:35 pm #

    I can definitely see why a messy and disarrayed room could be perceived that the owner is careless, cranky and uncaring. Many of my friends have seen messy rooms like mine and thought very negative of it, to be honest. How one puts effort into their own territory, truly shows the personality of how a person can be. A clean person, not only in the office, in a room or apartment can show that he or she cares about how they like to present their territory as well to the world. Organization and cleanliness are a very important aspect in human life that many tend to neglect or at least neglect for themselves. I really enjoyed what lead author Terrance Horgan applied viewers or perceivers of the owner’s primary territory be it an apartment or a dorm room, if it is not organized or clean then it will be viewed down upon and the owner will be seen as an unorganized and rude person. This article is a very handy tool and something that needs to be addressed in today’s world.
    Everyone constantly forgets in their busy day to day life on how to be organized with one’s stuff and how to present oneself. At the beginning of the semester, I tend to forget to tidy and clean my college room during the college semester as I find myself busy with school assignments to being social. However, I have started to organize my room and make it presentable as if I constantly had company enter my room. There are many benefits personally that I believe everyone should have his or her personal territory as organized and clean as possible.
    First off, in my personal experience, I wake up to an organized room that makes me feel very happy about myself and I feel productive throughout the day. I can find what I need without any hassle or problems. Usually when my room is messy, and I wake up to it, I am in a terrible mood to start and I feel lazy throughout the day. I also cannot find what I need for the day in my unorganized room at the time. I tell many people this, do not think about just how your personal territory will be perceived. Think about yourself as it will improve your behavior and how you go about your day. It feels amazing to want to be productive throughout the day just because of how organized and clean your room is. This is a personal experience that I believe many people can relate to and understand.

  7. Michael Zera December 7, 2018 at 6:44 pm #

    In this article by the University of Michigan, a study was conducted showing that an untidy work space results in people to perceive an individual as neurotic and uncaring. This may seem obvious, but a messy work space usually results in someone that most people assume do not care about their appearance. And I believe it 100%. Last semester I roomed here at Seton Hall, and typically, I would always keep my room cleaned. I felt that every time my room was cleaned, I felt better about myself. I am not going to brag about myself, but I received many good grades throughout both semester because I was organized, and it made my studies much easier. However, my suitemates were the complete opposite. They were very messy, as they left their books everywhere, and had opened food for days. Again, I am not trying to talk down upon my roommates, I am just showing a real-world example. It is probably not surprising, but my suitemates were struggling to pass their classes and I had an easy time with studying and homework as I felt that I was way more organized than them. I am not blaming their disorganization for their grades, but typically for most college students, you will see something like this. I think that most college students should begin to become organized and efficient. I guess my parents will always right. An organized room is an organized person. A disorganized person usually is stereotyped as lazy or a bad student. But like I previously said, usually this is the case, but there are few cases that a messy person is an efficient worker that does well in their real lives. If this is the case, I would let the worker do what they keep doing best. But when this “messy” behavior begins to show negative results, this is when there needs to be a “flip of the switch.” This study may seem silly, but it should be followed for most people as I have had great experiences with being organized inside and outside the classroom. Having organization in life is crucial, as this survey demonstrates that.

  8. Henry S December 7, 2018 at 6:47 pm #

    This article adds to the age-old argument that cleanliness in the workplace facilitates greater productivity. I liked how the article focused on the study’s deep dive into how different levels of office organization seem to contribute specifically to employees’ perception of managers. Whether we are in an office for just minutes for an interview or work in the office for years, we are certainly collecting data points on cleanliness. It makes sense that organizational cues in the office contribute to subliminal perceptions about the culture of a particular workplace and the habits of employees. However, I would like to argue that this “cleanliness=productivity” is not a be-all end-all, ironclad rule. I think the data points we collect on cleanliness impact some differently from others.

    During my internship this past summer, my desk got pretty cluttered. As the projects and research materials stacked up, the free space on my desk disappeared. By the end of the summer, my desk looked like the cluttered desks of the futures traders on our trading floor. This article would assert that such a workplace with a lower level of neatness would indicate managers that are “less agreeable, neurotic, as well as careless, cranky and uncaring” However, this was not how my office operated. Although we were all busy, stressed and had cluttered desks at times, my managers were rarely cranky towards me. I think the organizational status of our office was spoke to the less-structured vibe our office had. For some, as mentioned in the article, this would not work. They may sit each day in frustration, only able to keep their cubicle organized. For me though, the atmosphere was intense, fun and chaotic. It was a great place to work.

    This experience leads me to believe that an interest in intense workplace organization is an individual choice. What matters the most is that a workplace fits the individual. Some of us may work better in a more chaotic, disorganized space.

    While interviewing it is key to pick up on the small touches like in the study indicating organization. If the hiring manager has piles of paper everywhere and you only work well in a vacuum, maybe search for alternatives!

  9. Dominique Pina December 7, 2018 at 8:10 pm #

    This article is very helpful in calling attention to the usefulness of being organized. It is a simple thing that seems to be overlooked as not being a big deal, but seeing as people will make judgments and assumptions about you based on it, it can become a very big deal. It is always said that first impressions are important, this is no exception. When people, whether coworkers, clients, or especially your boss, walks in and sees your office in disarray, it gives off a bad impression. When there is a clean office, people assume that the person at the very least cares and it can be inferred that they are good at time management, organization, and have pride in their work.
    Time management is very important in a job and in life, because it allows you to get all of your work done in a timely fashion and makes sure that everything that needs to be accomplished in that time span gets done. Assuming that this person has their priorities straight, the fact that they have completed all of their work first and still had time to clean their office or keep it neat due to a lack of rushing, proves that they manage their time very well. So, with a messy space the opposite it inferred, and people do not want to work with someone who is always late and rushing last minute or does not complete things.
    Organization is another skill that goes along with a neat space. In an employee organization is a great thing to have because they never lose paperwork or anything else of importance. Also, as the study says, people work better in an organized environment. I know this is true for myself, when my room is a mess it is usually because I am all over the place, but when everything calms down a little and I set aside time to clean and organize my things, I feel more in control and am able to get more accomplished. In my opinion, when things are neat it motivates you to keep it neat for as long as possible. In an office this means finishing the paperwork now instead of later so it can be filed away and not stay on your desk to make clutter.
    Having pride in your work is a great aspect to have as an employee. This entails showing up everyday on time, wearing a uniform if necessary, and doing all of your work to the best of your ability. This shows a lot of respect to the company, your boss, and your coworkers and can really make you stand out. A clean desk shows this by showing that you have respect and care for the place to keep it clean. This displays discipline and showmanship that are pretty rare.
    Overall there are major benefits to having a neat space. This is not exclusive to offices, but anywhere that people may walk in and form an impression about you. This article does good to remind us that small things can have a big impact in your overall image and how people view you. Perceptions of these types of attributes are what people consider when deciding to do business with you, and it would do everyone good to remember this the next time they think about putting minimal effort into something.

  10. Michael Martini December 7, 2018 at 8:15 pm #

    This article is pretty accurate because I believe that organization is the key to living a successful life. Think about it, if you take one personal who has nothing together and everything all over the place, and another person who as their life in order, which do you think is going to be the more successful of the two? The answer is pretty obvious, and that proves the point that this article makes that you should strive to organize yourself to the best of your ability. It will help you to better keep track of, for example, your work in an office space just as the article states. If you are looking for papers and have no idea where they could be, this means you are disorganized. Keeping your papers together will not only help you know where to find things, but will help you to be more productive. Being organized will also help to motivate you because of the simplicity of achieving your goal. If you know it is going to be hard to get work done because you are disorganized, it will prevent you from getting it started in the first place. There is an exception to this, however. Very few people do work better in an unorganized work space, and in my opinion I do not know how. But for the majority of human beings being organized can help significantly.

  11. Joseph Capouch December 7, 2018 at 8:29 pm #

    I was surprised at how much information people derived just from seeing a person’s workspace, as the study found, discussed in the article “Got a Messy Work Desk? Study Reveals What Your Coworkers Really Think of You”. Given that the study surveyed the reactions people had to three stages, a neat and tidy workspace, a somewhat messy workspace, and lastly a very messy workspace, I was more or less surprised by each of them. The fact that people aligned a neat and tidy area with a good employee, who they saw no evident flaws with seemed logical to me, and there were really no surprises there. However, perhaps what was the most surprising was how people reacted to a somewhat messy workplace (one that had a clock that was off by an hour, and somewhat misplaced books and papers). This seemed to me like it would be less than ideal, but still relatively normal with little information to be gained from it. But in the article it seemed to be more aligned with the very messy office, whereas I would have aligned it more with the clean office. One last thing that surprised me was the amount of information people seemed to assume about a person when seeing a messy work area. These things included that the employee was careless, cranky, uncaring, less agreeable, and more neurotic, which I don’t believe are all things you can determine in this sense.
    As a person who likes having my workspace tidy and clean, but also is not able to maintain it that way one hundred percent of the time, I took an interest in this article. I consider myself to be someone who cares about my work, is not generally cranky, or disagreeable. However, there are times where circumstances such as limited time, limited space, or working with others that may cause me to have an unclean work area. So, are there times where I am causing people to have incorrect assumptions about me because of this? Or perhaps there are times where I am concluding incorrect things about those who are working around me. According to this study, that may be entirely possible.

  12. Josh Shupper January 23, 2019 at 5:54 pm #

    I think that this article is something that anyone can use for guidance to stay organized or needs help with any time management skills, whether it be a college student trying to get their work done to graduate in four years or someone who has been employed for twenty years. By being able to stay organized in life, one is able to avoid unnecessary stress. This unnecessary stress can harm someone’s physical or mental health and might drive them crazy or in the worst case, hit rock bottom. It is something that one may never be able to recover from. As an example, I might misplace a textbook and not remember where it is. Then, it takes me fifteen minutes to find it. Within those fifteen minutes, I build a lot of stress and it takes a toll on me. I try to stay organized so I can avoid this and it helps me feel better so I can get the job done no matter where I am.
    People tend to be more positive about working and their working environment when they are organized. Employees are more likely to be motivated to work when everything is neat and they are also part of a good environment. I agree with the fact that most employees are happy by being neat, and this signifies that they are satisfied with where they are in life. Some of them can be happy with being a little messy because it is not to the point where the stress levels are super high. I know I wouldn’t want to be in a place where things are unorganized and all over the place. Sometimes, my room is not as neat as it should be. There is a point to where I go nuts because things are all over the place and I can’t maneuver from one place to another.
    Regarding the negative comments about the dirty areas of a workplace, I could see why the participants would say that they don’t care. But maybe that’s not who the employees truly represent. I believe that many try to assume how people are by the way they work. Yes, there are other aspects of life that people should consider about criticizing someone else. As an example, maybe an employee is having a relationship problem or is in a really bad financial situation. You never know anything about anybody until you ask. There’s one saying that you never judge a book by its cover. In this case, one can’t simply judge based on what they see in the workplace.
    I would definitely recommend reading this article if somebody has trouble with any organizational skills. This can definitely help plus the article is interesting.

  13. Deep Patel January 23, 2019 at 11:39 pm #

    This article by Rina Raphael is quite an interesting article that a college student or desk workers can use to help improve their productivity and timeliness of their work. When I was reading the article the results of the research seemed easily predictable. The messier the desk the more unorganized the person is. However, the new study that was founded saying that a messy work place can lead to a coworker calling them uncaring, less likely to be agreed with, and neurotic was really shocking to me but understandable. This shows me that the way a person goes about how they get work done is being judged and people will come to conclusions about them based on how they do their job. Additionally, this brings on the debate that if a person is cleaner and well-rounded they are more likely to have better productivity and meet deadlines before a person who is messy and all over the place. I like how the researchers did study of the clean side, the messy side, but also the middle to see how cleanliness can impact work productivity. Therefore, I can attest to that the cleaner the work area is the better result will be shown from that person.

    When I do work, I usually start of clean but eventually my desk will get messy with papers all over the work space. I personally work better when my area is clean and organized. For example, when I am studying for a test I usually have many papers with me along with my notes I took from class. I constantly have to go back and forth from one sheet to another and most of the times my desk becomes a mess. I tend to focus more when I am more organized and I am more locked in mentally with an organized work space. When my desk becomes messy I become less focused and more distracted. I feel like I get more done being neater than not. Additionally, my stress level decreases with papers being in a stack and things being in proper places. My roommate however has a messy desk, he tends to like to keep it disorganized with papers everywhere and a small place to function. I personally do not judge him as being uncaring or less likely to be agreed with. However, I do see him get frustrated while doing his work and he gets distracted easily. Time wise I definitely can tell he takes a little longer to get his assignments done as he gets frustrated when he cannot find a paper that he needs. Therefore, I do not judge people about their work space cleanliness but I can tell that it does affect the person.

    As a result, I love the study that the University of Michigan Flint and Ann Arbor conducted about how an untidy work space leads to people believing that the person is more neurotic, uncaring, and not agreeable. I see how this can be the case in a company but I believe it is less judgmental but more about the productivity. I believe that the worker who is more organized is more likely to be more productive and get things done quicker with less errors in it. I do not believe that the messy person is uncaring and un agreeable I just think they get more distracted easily and are not the most focused. Sometimes it just how people work, some like to be messy while others must have it clean. It is more of a personal preference and no judgments should come out because of someone’s work place environment.

  14. Allya Jaquez January 24, 2019 at 4:33 pm #

    I believe that Rina Raphael has written a very interesting article that can be useful for anyone who is either in school or in the work force. This articles and the studies found in them mostly focus on people who are in the work force and have an office of their own. I agree with the two studies that are being presented in this article stating that being more organized helps your productivity. Each article also stated that those who tend to keep a messy office are assumed to be irresponsible and will keep others away from entering their work space. The new study says that those who are not as organized as others are looked as careless. I do not completely agree with this because this just means that people are being judged and are not taken seriously because they have trouble keeping a clean desk like everyone else. Yes, I do agree that being organized helps maintain your focus and you will get all your work done, but I know that not everyone works exactly the same. Some individuals might be very messy and still get all their work done and can possibly do a better job than the individual who is very organized.
    I know that being organized can help you in so many ways. Being an organized individual will lead you to become successful in so many ways. It will be help focus so much better, you do not stress as much looking for whatever you need at the moment and you will get more work done with an organized desk. The Harvard study mentions that having an unclean work environment will lead to sickness and missing work. They also state that being in a clean environment will keep you happy instead of gloomy all day. I believe these are all great reasons to stay organized.
    But I very much enjoyed the study by Harvard University because I found it to grab my attention a little more because of the pictures and steps they included. They focused on explaining to us why keeping a clean office will help you in the long run. They also concluded why being messy might not be a great characteristic for the work place and they explain to their readers how they can improve and become organized.

  15. Danielle C. January 24, 2019 at 11:48 pm #

    I can agree with the study that was found. Keeping a neat and tidy desk is not only appropriate, but clean and tidy shows a lot about a person’s personality and traits. At my job, I work with three different managers. The first manager to put it nicely is a “neat freak”. If something is not in the right order or was not cleaned to her standards, it would have to be done again. On certain days she is not at the store and the smallest crumb is on her desk, she will get very upset and want you to clean her entire desk. I do agree with the ending note of how Harvard University found it can take a person 7.5 minutes longer to complete a task than someone with a slightly messy and untidy desk. My boss does have a hard time finding things if she is completing a task or she will misplace an item and won’t be able to find it. My second boss would fit in the somewhat messy category. She does not mind cleanliness, but does not mind a little mess either. She has more of a go with the flow type of attitude, but does get items done and is less stressed than the others like the article mentions. If someone eats at her desk or leaves a crumb, she will not have you clean her desk. She will throw the crumbs out and move on with her day. My third boss is very messy. He has items all over his desk, misplaces items, and doesn’t care if you eat at his desk and even if the wrapper is still there the next day. I disagree with the article on their behavior because he is not “careless, cranky, or uncaring”, but the complete opposite. My sister is also the same way as she can function with a messy desk or bedroom, but does not behave as they state in the article. For me, my desk is clean and I keep as little items on the desk as possible. However how some people keep their desk depends on the person and how they are able to function to get their work done. Each person is unique and different and how each person behaves should not depict on how they organize their desk.

  16. Aidan Nathaniel Clee January 25, 2019 at 10:35 am #

    This article for such a simple topic as a person’s desk makes a very good and greater point about the person who’s desk it is. Their point being that the cleanliness of the desk reflecting the nature of the person that occupies it and the opinion of others of the person who’s desk it is. I find that to be mostly true as I’ve seen that through my life. I know people who have messy desks because there’s a lot on their desk but just because there is a lot does not mean that they do not have it all organized and where they want it. My own mother has a desk that has a lot on it but its because she works at home and her office is small, yet she knows where all her stuff is and she works multiple jobs so there’s a lot of stuff to have around for her work. My dads’ desk who also has started working at home has a very cleanly desk though he works his one job and just prefers his organization to be a lot neater. An example of the neatness of the desk reflecting in this worker is myself. I have realized that when I keep my desk neater when I’m working or when I go to the library where the desk is already neat that I am better at staying more concentrated and in the article they do say that with a neater desk you can focus for around 7 minutes longer. My desk does become messy especially my desk at home which can cause me to get distracted with the things on my desk. I don’t think that it always is the case that the desk reflects the worker who sits there. The one point that absolutely holds true is that others will judge you by your desk space. Everyone always is looking for some way to judge each other and its as simple of an example of people judging each other by the color of their skin. Since humans always want to separate themselves from others the messiness of someone’s desk would be a perfect targeting point to say my desk is better than yours. In the workspace finding separation to say I’m a better and harder working employee then he is exactly how this could be working.
    Though all this taken into account I find that either way it is best to keep your desk neat. There is no downside to keeping the desk neat or any space you work in. This study has made it fully known there are studied advantages to keeping a desk neat as work will get done better and since people are very judging if your boss for instance

  17. Shegufta Tasneem January 25, 2019 at 10:49 am #

    I can relate to the studies by the universities because being organized and tidy has always helped me do better in every sector of my life. An untidy and unclean room causes my mind to naturally be distracted and restrains me from fully concentrating on my studies. And when it comes to offices and other workspaces, the first impression of it definitely means a lot to a new employee or an interviewee. It works as a natural instinct to people that the more organized the workspace is, the easier it is to get work done there, and thus the job automatically becomes more lucrative. Office work requires lots of different materials at all times and having them neatly organized obviously helps not just one employee, rather everyone in the office to find the necessary items at the time of need quickly and thus, the work is done faster. A clean and fresh workspace also helps to boost the morale of the employees and workers, which subconsciously encourages the people to work harder with a fresh and satisfied mind. Again, a tidy office with everything put together where it belongs as opposed to the very messy office where everything is in disarray makes work easier for the employees. Since the absence of unnecessary items here and there also causes fewer distractions for the employees, the overall productivity of the office increases. The employees are able to complete their tasks on time and maybe even before the deadline because they could fully concentrate and put all their attention as well as effort in doing an assignment. Whereas, a messy office represents the person in charge or the authority to be ignorant and divesting. As the studies depicted, the owner of the messy office naturally seems less agreeable, neurotic as well as careless and cranky. A person who does not care about the workspace where not just him, but the people working under him also have to dwell in every day, would also not probably care about the well being of his employees. Thus, that naturally inclines the interviewees and outsiders to look for other options with a not so messy office.

  18. Peter Honczaryk January 25, 2019 at 10:51 am #

    It seems as if everyone who has read the article posted a comment stating how they all agree that people with a messy desk is far more careless, forgetful, and easily misplaces papers. I agree that at a first glance someone who looks unorganized does not set a great impression on the type of worker they may be. However, I doubt that anyone who has read this article is all that organized themselves. Everyone has some sort of clutter and must adventure throughout their pile of papers, notes, and even documents on their computers to find what they are looking for. As a matter of fact, the picture in the article shows a computer sitting on top of a small desk with papers on either side with what looks like music sheets, couple of pens, and a watch. The papers look to be “organized” in a way that is beneficial for the owner to find, different types of music stacked on different corners of the small desk. At first glance people may assume that this person is unorganized but never come to the conclusion that they might be working on a new project or assignment. The test that was conducted in the article explained this more in depth.
    The study conducted was to have people enter three different work spaces, one clean, one semi-messy, and one very messy. It is easily assumed that people will clearly rank the employee with the cleanliest office to be most organized and so forth. However, the article only mentions that researchers conducted a study of 160 participants, but do not mention how organized the participants are. A messy person can also consider a clean person to be organized. The point I am making is there is a thin grey line between messy and neat and that is what I believe this article fails to mention. As previously mentioned, the article shows a picture of what looks like an unorganized desk. Papers are stacked in all corners of the desk, but they could be neatly stack in piles of different types of sheet music so that the user knows in their own way where everything is. Geoffrey James writes the article “A messy desk is a sign of genius according to science”, which explains the exact flaw of what Rina Raphael fails to connect in her article “Got a messy desk? Study reveals what your coworkers really think of you”.
    In conclusion, a messy desk does not mean that a person is unorganized, and that people should consider that a messy individual is also a neat individual. This is that grey point that Rina fails to mention in this article.

  19. Rachel Leto January 25, 2019 at 2:18 pm #

    I agree with this article that the cleanliness of a work space is related to the level of productivity and level of wanting to be in your place of work. I used to work at Staples about 2 years ago as a sales associate. This store was never organized and the managers were always angry. It constantly had random desk chairs around the store, the back of the store was always a mess, the storage above the aisles never had the correct products for those aisles, and my managers were too busy to help the associates or the customers because they were constantly running around and looking for paperwork. I was dreading going to work every time I was scheduled.
    This showed a lot about how that particular store was running. Almost every day, the supervisor for that store would email my manager that our store numbers are down and they keep going down and all of the other Staples store’s sales kept going up. It got to the point where he would come to the store at least once a week and have meetings with all of the management. He would leave and tell management, every time, to do a better job cleaning the store and keeping it neat. It was true, if the store was cleaner, it would be easier to restock the shelves, find people their online orders, and just help them find what they were looking for in general. Not only is cleanliness the key to being a little more successful, it makes your job so much easier too.
    This article relates to a students work ethic as well. If a student has a messy desk, whether in the library, at home, or in a dorm at school, it shows the level of productivity that the person is presenting. If studies show that people are less productive with a messy work environment, it is safe to say that the student is most likely not doing as well in school as a student with a more organized work space. I agree with this article because I have experienced it firsthand.

  20. Keegan Sullivan January 25, 2019 at 3:18 pm #

    Personally, I can very much relate to this article. Not because I sit in an office and judge my peers, but because of my experience living in a college house and attending classes. It is easy for us as humans to sit back and view the world however we want. In fact it’s very normal to judge a book by its cover even though at an early age we’re told not to. So if I saw a coworker with a messy desk I could either think they are very lazy or they are super busy. But either way, this is an issue. Cleaning a desk can take a mere 5 minutes per day. So if you save it all for the end of the week, you’re already up to 25 minutes of brainless work. While the 5 minutes can be accomplished as you’re heading out of the office, the 25 minutes cuts into company time. Now while a few papers on the ground is much different than leftover food sitting, rotting away, the ideas are the same. Your coworkers will still see you as “more neurotic, less agreeable, and pretty uncaring” according to the article. Sure one shouldn’t have to feel as though they must impress all of their coworkers, but these are the people you will be with every day. You want to leave them with the best impression from a social and business standpoint. Depending on your job, you may rely on your coworkers to help you make more money by bringing in clients. If you are seen as lazy and uncaring, the chances of you being selected rather than a tidy person are not great.
    The experiment done by the University Of Michigan Flint is very interesting to me. As I was reading the article, the results of the experiment did not come as a surprise. Like I said before, it is human to judge people. The participants may not have all been experienced business professionals but they did know what it was like to see a clean area compared to a messy one. Even as just regular people, the consensus was that the office cleanliness would be a factor in deciding whether to do future work with them which is exactly what I would say. Overall I feel like I actually learned a lot from this article and can apply it not only to my future job but to my school and home today.

  21. Andrew Kenny January 25, 2019 at 3:40 pm #

    The way a person displays themselves in public is a huge indicator to others about the kind of person they are. Whether we want to admit it or not, humans naturally develop opinions about someone based on their looks, the way they carry themselves, and in this case, their work space. In my own personal experiences I have had coworkers and bosses who have been messy and clean. My one manager at the pool club I worked at was extremely disorganized and had a messy work space. She embodied the type of person in a “very messy work space” from the article. That was all on the surface, but in reality she was actually very personable and not neurotic. Although she came off as an non-conscientious worker, she actually was able to compensate for it by being a fantastic talker and leader. People who knew her respected her and treated her accordingly, despite her travesty of a working area.
    On the other hand, when I worked for the PGA, my head manager was one of the neatest people I have ever met. He was a fantastic organizer and handled his many responsibilities with superb professionalism. However, unlike my boss at the pool club, he was a lot less agreeable and stubborn. In turn, he was hard to approach and many of my colleagues refused to try and converse with him. In fact, he still owes over $200 to one of my fellow interns when he was supposed to get paid in the summer. The managers under him were the exact opposite, running around doing a lot of his dirty work under pressure, yet they were some of the most genuine people I have ever met.
    The point I am getting at is not all of those people who look like they have everything together necessarily do. Sometimes the most scrambled individuals make the best workers and even leaders. Of course, it is important to represent yourself the way you would like to be perceived as. I mean quite frankly an extremely distorted work area is really not acceptable and will almost certainly lead to distraction, but some disorganization can just be a sign of a hard worker. That individual may not be the best organizer, but maybe instead of spending their time perfecting their space, they are instead honed in on completing their tasks in a timely and sufficient matter. First impressions sometimes can be everything, and many people will refuse to see past them. This article proves that people who saw someone with a messy area really preferred not to deal with them in a professional setting. The takeaway is quite simple; a cluttered work space doesn’t always equate to a poor worker or lazy person, but it does leave a negative perception for those who are on the outside looking in.

  22. Ria Bagga January 25, 2019 at 4:09 pm #

    I’m not at all surprised by the primary takeaway for people with messy desks being less agreeable or uncaring. I would actually agree that this is an accurate representation for people with messy desks, especially having a roommate that is messy. I actually do think her being messy changed how I felt about her throughout fall semester. If a desk is slightly cluttered I wouldn’t think too much about it, but her desk was covered to the point it was accumulating a mountain of junk. While my roommate is a nice person, it definitely made me feel like she was careless and unreliable.
    I think particularly in the workplace I would feel that much more uncomfortable relying on that co-worker with questions or especially delegating work to them. Compared to someone that is more clean, I would just assume they are more unreliable than others and wouldn’t have anything better than I do to contribute. I also think it is more unprofessional to keep your workplace cluttered when compared to your living space. The workplace is a shared environment for workers to do their work as efficiently as possible. Being a messy attribute to the space could impact others and obviously make that individual far more inefficient in their work and focus, as the article stated, “Those who work in a clutter-free workspace are able to work steadily for 7.5 minutes longer than those in a cluttered workspace.”

  23. Daibelis Acevedo January 25, 2019 at 5:10 pm #

    Rina Raphael’s article about the impact that a messy work desk can have on someone’s life is one of the most relatable articles I have ever read. I agree with Rina’s point of view and I also believe that the studies that were conducted supported her idea. As I was reading this, I thought of my own room and the way my lifestyle is. I am very organized and clean with almost everything I do; my sister is the complete opposite. Being neat can not only affect the way you are at work or at home, but it can also change the amount of motivation one has to get work done. In Raphael’s article there is proof stated that productivity is also affected when comparing a clean desk to a messy one, “a recent study by Harvard University found yet another reason to get one’s work desk together: better productivity.” Reading this article is helpful to anyone. I know that my sister is a bit messy and her excuse is that “it’s an organized mess” and she always says she knows where everything is in her room, even though it seems like a tornado went through. There is no such thing as an organized mess. Walking into a messy office or bedroom would give a completely different feeling than walking into a clean, neat space. The article reinforced my views on the importance of cleanliness.
    Another important aspect that everyone should keep in mind, especially those who tend to be messy is the idea of how others perceive you based on the way your workspace looks. The Researchers and psychologist from the University of Michigan, including Ann Arbor, did a great job at shining light to this topic with a study. Using participants and different types of offices they tested what kind of people has these offices. I was not surprised to find out that the people with messy spaces were thought of as careless. Making the connection that someone with such an unorganized space is careless, makes sense. It was interesting to read about these findings because although I have always thought this way, I have never come across real evidence stating what other’s perceived. The study done by Harvard University was also a very interesting read. The article that was linked to the initial article by Rina Raphael really satisfied the visual learning side of me because of the photos and steps on being clean. The cleanliness of offices, workspace, bedrooms, or any other form of personal space is important because it changes how you work and what you do. As the articles showed us, productivity is also based on how one keeps their space. A personal example is how every morning I need to fix my bed before I head out. It has happened a few times that I may not have a chance to organize my bed before I leave and whenever I get back home it drives me crazy. Walking into a messy room makes me unmotivated to study or do homework. A huge part of my productivity usually happens when my room is organized, that’s why I related so closely to Rina Raphael’s article.

  24. Brian L Hilyard January 25, 2019 at 5:20 pm #

    This article discussed a study done by psychology researchers at the University of Michigan Flint and Ann Arbor that concluded that individuals assume the owners of messier work spaces are less conscientious and agreeable, as well as more neurotic, than owners of neat work spaces.

    What’s interesting is that the vast majority of psychologists agree that conscientiousness is negatively correlated with neuroticism and positively correlated with agreeableness, and this phenomenon was replicated by the participants. Low conscientiousness is associated with decreased disgust sensitivity, which easily justifies why individuals would associate that trait with a dirty work place. However, those without extensive background knowledge about the five personality traits and how they are tested could not purposefully replicate those correlations consistently. This led me to assume that all the participants were psychology majors because their background knowledge could have tainted the study with disingenuous “estimations”. Therefore, I decided to read the original study and was surprised to see that the participants were selected at random. It surprised me that the same correlations derived from people testing themselves could be replicated by estimations on theoretical people on a single variable: the neatness of a work place.

    The less neat the work place was, the indicators of a troublesome employee grew significantly stronger. It was interesting to note how much more negative the assumptions of the owner’s personality got just by making the workplace dirtier. The changes made were not that extreme: candy wrappers on the desk, open drawers, books on the floor, and untidy stacks of paper was all it took to shift the average conscientiousness score seven percentiles. From that, I find comfort in the fact that the small amount of effort it takes to keep a work place neat will go a long way towards manifesting an assumption that I’m a pleasure to work with. It is a beneficial piece of information to own.

    Despite not being a stated goal of the study, I would have liked to have seen the participants of the study assume the relative cognitive abilities of the owners of the different rooms. Studies have shown mixed results between the correlation between conscientiousness and IQ, but none are significantly positive. The debate appears to be if the correlation is negative or if the correlation exists at all. It would have been interesting if that phenomenon was replicated the same way the correlation between the traits were.

  25. Divyaa Sarin January 25, 2019 at 6:30 pm #

    When I first read the title of this article,” Got a messy work desk? Study reveals what your coworkers really think of you,” I immediately knew that the responses from coworkers would be negative. The study conducted by the University of Michigan proved that workers that have untidy workplaces are often times unstable. Often times a messy workplace show a sign of disorganization and unprofessionalism. It was no surprise that these coworkers reacted in a negative manner.

    Personally, I have never worked however, I dormed last semester, in Saint John’s University, with messy suitemates. A messy work desk is similar to living in a messy environment. You have to share the same resources as other’s and make a living out of it. In my experience, my suitemates would never wash their dishes, take out the trash from the living room, leave hair everywhere in the bathroom, and etc. I was overwhelmed and quite disgusted. Due to this, my first impressions of my suitemates were quite unfavorable. I was overwhelmed by the mess I had to deal with and had to clean up after them every day. I was often times distracted from studying or doing my homework due to my odious living situation. I noticed that my suitemates were completely disorganized and were distracted themselves. They didn’t do well in any of their classes either because they had no sense of stability.Their laziness corrupted their behavior from performing required educational activities and being able to live a healthy lifestyle. My suitemates actions gave me more and more reasons to not want to live with them.

    After reading this article, I asked my dad, who is an entrepreneur and CEO of his own company, what his thoughts were on messy employees. My dad told me his messy employees were inefficient and barely got their work done. All of them have gotten fired due to their disorganization! Not only does this look bad on the employee but it affects the image of the company as well. When investors come into office and they notice messy employees, it gives a bad image to the professionalism and reduces credibility of the company. This shows that bad working habits can ruin the image of the entire company as well!

    My personal living situation relates to workers who have to deal with messy coworkers because I had the same exact experience. Personally, I like to be in a nice, clean, and refreshing environment whenever I do my work. I feel less overwhelmed and more relaxed when everything is neat and tidy. I don’t like to hoard unnecessary items that are not needed in order for me to perform my work. Like I mentioned before, I never worked however, in school we have to sometimes work in group projects which require working with other individuals. I find it extremely annoying when people are disorganized because often times they lose or miss their work. This makes it harder me to work with them and honestly, I wouldn’t want to either. In order to perform my best, I have to be organized and be ready to give my 100%. It is important to acknowledge these healthy habits while going into college. Before entering the workforce, it is crucial to reinvent poor routines and transition into a more proper established individual.

  26. Melissa Caniz January 25, 2019 at 7:13 pm #

    A messy desk can say a lot of a person personality, it can affect future relations with colleagues, and it can also affect the productivity of that person. According to an experiment done by the University of Michigan, 160 participants; randomly selected were given instruction to sit in a researcher’s office. Now they either sat in a clean and uncluttered office space or in a somewhat or very messy work space. These participants tried to guess their researcher’s personality bases on the appearance of their office. The feedback was as predicted and extremely messy personal space leads people to think that the owner of that space is more neurotic and less agreeable. If I see a messy work-space it will defiantly affect my relationship with that colleague because, I can see that she is not presentable and therefore working with a messy co-worker can be quite a battle. Now on the other hand, if I see my colleague going through a rough situation in life then his/her office space is the least of his worries and I would help him/her by cleaning up their work space(once in a while) , so at least they can get their mind away from their problem and be able to work in a clean atmosphere. Helping others is our duty; it’s like paying our taxes to the world, which has given us so much in return. A desk well cleaned and well put together aspires many to do well therefore: better productivity. Some statistics by Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead in “Time to Tidy Up! Less Desk Clutter Makes You More productive, Data Shows(Infrographic),, defines essential ways a clean office can increase productivity. Some of the reasons include; an unhygienic office is said to be the cause of at least some of the nine working days the average employee loses due to being sick every year, clean offices means less likely to be distracted by objects cluttering up a work-space, which lead to increased focus, notes the infographic, searching for lost documents equates to business losing around $2.5 million in lack of productivity according to the data by “International Data Corporation,” and last but not least tidy working environment leads to happier workforce with good morale. Now a few ways that a clean office can help productivity are by, increasing focus, lessening time wasted, lessening stress, greater profitability, lessens absenteeism, and overall improves morale toward oneself and colleagues. As simple as a messy desk seems, who knew that it can say so much of an individual’s personality, but especially affect future relation with colleagues and friends.

  27. Edward Holzel January 25, 2019 at 7:33 pm #

    This study shows that a messy desk prompts people to be less productive and get viewed in a poor light. The study showed that people responded better to the clean office space. They would be more productive and view superiors in a better light. However, the people in the extremely messy office responded in the complete opposite way. They had a poor view of the superior and lacked in productivity. In conclusion, the study showed that people perform better and are happy in a more organized environment.
    The study can be applied to many other aspects of life. The first area that I relate the study to is students. As a student, being neat and having order allowed me to become a better student. I would know where my work is, and I would know where I put my work. Having good organization as a student not only helps you know where things are but gives the impression to the teacher and fellow students that you want to be taken seriously as a student. No one is going to listen to a student who doesn’t know where his work is and is pulling out and turning in crinkled papers. Overall, a neater student not only performs better but also gets respect from his teacher and classmates.
    The next area that this study can be applied to is how one carries himself. Little things like one’s posture, hair, and clothing really influence other people. My father always taught me to sit up and walk with my shoulders back. When I was little, I didn’t think much about it. Nowadays, I see how people are so reliant on their first impressions that walking with my shoulders back helps create a good impression on people. Also, people aren’t going to take a person seriously if they don’t take care of themselves. A boss who doesn’t comb his hair and never showers isn’t going to be liked and get people to be productive under him. In conclusion, people don’t listen to people who don’t take care of themselves and present themselves poorly to others.

  28. Doran Abdi January 25, 2019 at 8:06 pm #

    This article is highlighting a concept that should be apparent to most people (especially students): abiding by a more organized life will lead to better productivity along with inevitable success. We tend to frown upon those who lack to have an organized desk or workplace as being organized represents responsibility, accountability, and success. While many feel as if this is a myth and that those who obtain a messy life can be equally successful, I tend to disagree. Like the article suggests, I find that it is impossible to fully succeed if one is not able to obtain a completely organized and planned life, and an organized desk is the first indicator of this. Personally, if I were to not be completely organized, there would be no way in which I would be able to flourish in college. School is all about deadlines and assignments that the student is fully responsible for. If a student lacks any form of neatness and the ability to be prepared, how is it possible for that student to do as well as they possibly can? Personally, if I were not to have a planner in which I keep all of my assignments and work organized in, it would be impossible for me to be prepared for all of my classes. Being neat and organized is a representation of what success looks like because it leads to success in all aspects of life. Someone who is completely responsible and in control of their life, does all the necessary tasks in maintaining an organized life. This means fixing their bed every morning, combing their hair, having a clean car, never being late, and, of course, cleaning their workspace ( By presenting one’s self in a such a manner suggests to others that they are responsible, neat, and lead to a healthy life style. This will lead to those in a professional atmosphere to have more trust and faith in that person eventually leading to a more successful path. If two men were to walk in to a job meeting both with the same credentials and achievements, the employer will always choose the one they find themselves having more trust in. Why would a boss hire the man that presents himself as being sloppy, unorganized, and messy? That worker represents missed deadlines and irresponsibility. As an organized desk may seem petty and unnecessary, it essentially will represent success and flourishment.

  29. Domenico Cirielli January 25, 2019 at 8:17 pm #

    Last semester, I took Oral Communication and I have to say, I learned a lot more than I expected to. Most importantly, I learned the importance of being aware of what other individuals’ perceptions of you are. The article brought up an interesting point, that being that those with an unorganized, messy work space are negatively perceived by other people. While it is important to always keep in mind how our actions and general environment affect others, I think there exists a larger issue here. It does not have to do to how we are perceived by others, but rather our productivity. By conducting additional research, keeping a messy work environment not only negatively alters one’s perceptions of you, but also leads to less motivation and an altered mindset.

    Staying organized is a crucial component to being both successful and productive. According to Jennie Dede, the VP of recruiting for Adecco, it’s dangerous to keep a messy desk: “Your performance coincides with your work space…When it’s organized and precise you have the mindset and motivation to work.” Not only is it your productivity that is affected, but also the way you think and problem solve. Everyone has different upbringings that shape the way that they think and the way they act. Yet, the following study conducted by a group of researchers headed by Kathleen Vohs, from the University of Minnesota, demonstrates that there exists clear deviations in the thought process of individuals depending on the cleanliness of their respective work areas. Vohs and her team discovered that those who have more neat work environments have the propensity to conform to “conventional expectations for [them]”, while those who operate in messier environments had a more divergent, progressive thought process.

    This brings up an interesting point. Can we start to develop certain work environments that dictate how we think and perceive the world around us? The study conducted by Vohs suggests this. This is crucial to understand too, especially in a world that is rapidly changing. If we can tailor an environment that encourages us to “think differently” in a world of constant technological and social advancements, we can abandon the conventional way of thinking, and become more creative in the process. Though some individuals, more inclined to remain organized, are not just going to drop the way they operate their everyday lives, those who are condemned for their dirty work spaces should not be in reality. In the words of Albert Einstein, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Though productive, sticking to a routine and conforming to certain ways of living life is not what is needed to help the world further evolve. It is from cluttered thoughts that come innovation and new and more progressive ways to operate in this world. With this in mind, will you be cleaning your desk anytime soon?

  30. Alexander Dornbierer January 25, 2019 at 8:29 pm #

    The study conducted by the University of Michigan Flint and Ann Arbor shows that a messy workplace can reduces the amount of worked that you accomplish, and also affect the way your colleagues view you. The subjects who took part in the test answered that the messy workplace was less conscientious than the organized office. The results from the study does not surprise me. As a student with a desk I am aware of the distracts that a messy workplace could cause. The same could be said for your room at home. I knew that I always felt better about myself and thought that I could get more done after I cleaned my room at home. Not only does having a messy workplace not look good it could also be a sign of laziness. A skill that no employer or co-worker wants someone in the company to have.
    A study by the New York Times tells us this.
    It states that “Messiness has been deemed variously a moral failing, a hallmark of
    laziness, a serious character flaw or a hard-wired human behavior.” By displaying to your coworkers that you are messy and lazy is a sure way for them not to trust or worse. For you to loss your job, which is the last thing anyone wants.
    The study from the University of Michigan Flint and Ann Arbor also stated that a organized desk can cause the worker to more work done. Being able to work for 7.5 minutes longer. After reading this article I believe that having the organized work space provides less distractions and gives the employee more time to work. Not only is the state of ones work space a spot where others judge someone’s messiness or organization. One’s person hygiene and appearance also impact peoples views off you. Someone with a winkled shirt and a tie that is too short with messy hair isn’t going to be able to get peoples trust the same way that someone would with quaffed hair and a perfect outfit. In conclusion, your state of appearance and your work space are ways that people judge you. That could be all that matter when you’re trying to get new investors or finish off a sale.

  31. Demetri Allen January 25, 2019 at 8:53 pm #

    Rina Raphael’s article “Got a messy work desk? Study reveals what your coworkers really think of you” says a lot about people in today’s society. The study conducted by the University of Michigan Flint and Ann Arbor proved that workers with untidy workplaces are thought of as more unproductive. How you keep your workspace is very indictive of your personality. A messy workspace shows that you lack responsibility and order. It is a sign of how serious you take your responsibilities. Personally, I have always been a very messy person. Almost every desk I’ve had inside and outside of school has been a messy of papers and books crammed inside. The same goes for my room which always had a pile of unwashed clothes in the corner. Likewise, my actions reflect my personality just like those of the workers in the study. I was lazy and didn’t care about my work and it showed. However, thanks to a new-found mental shift and a parental push I decided to change my ways. It all started when I left for college. Being away from home was my new opportunity to change my ways. Ever since arriving at college I have kept my room neat and in order. I wanted to make this change because I felt it was healthy for me to be more productive. Keeping a clean space changes your outlook on things and essentially frees up your mind. I noticed that after I made the change to clean up, I was getting more work done and much happier with myself. This sentiment coincides with that of the Michigan study in that keeping a tidier space makes you less careless or cranky. Rina’s article unfolds the truth in how the way someone carries themselves represents their personality.

  32. Kayla Clavijo January 25, 2019 at 8:56 pm #

    To begin with, appearances are very important. I find that a cluttered desk can drag you down, reduce your efficiency and reduce your self-confidence. From my personal experience, I can tell you that I do get a lot more done when everything on my desk is organized. In fact, it is the appearance of a clean desk that makes me more productive. It makes me feel refreshed, reenergized, and on a psychological level, perhaps even clear of conscience. People fail to realize that a messy desk can impact how you see yourself, it reduces self-confidence. For this reason, it is important to understand that having confidence does have a profound impact on how you present yourself and pursue your work. While some might suggest that a cluttered room and desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, those who prefer this type of environment are not necessarily disorganized. Their desks might look like a mess with papers everywhere, yet they always seem to know exactly where each and every item is when they need it, especially when it is time to study. In fact, I have many friends who are very messy and still get all their work done and possibly even do a better job than people who are organized, including myself.
    Based on the article, I agree with the study finding that an untidy work space leads colleagues to be viewed as uncaring and neurotic because being organized and tidy on my end has always helped me do better. Whether I am in working or learning environment, I feel more motivated when everything is clean. If my desk is messy, I always find my eyes drifting to the odds and ends strewn around my desk, those moments I see as lost time especially when I am studying. Also, in a working environment I find being disorganized and a messy desk a reason to undermine anyone’s reputation. In fact, what many people aren’t aware of is that when working in an office or shared space, your desk is what impacts how your colleagues and superiors see you. In my opinion, a messy or disorganized desk can also be interpreted as a sign of being inefficient in your work and that is not the type of image any of us want. I am not saying that being disorganized or having a messy desk makes people look like a bad person, or even a bad worker, but do think it does send a negative message to the people around them. Afterall, I enjoyed reading this article because it shows that productivity is based on how one keeps their space. I am very organized and clean with almost everything I do, and I fail to keep myself organized I begin to lose control of myself. For this reason, I find that a clear desk space gives me a clear mind space. It helps me prioritize what’s most urgent and makes me more efficient in a working and learning environment.

  33. Diamond Vasquez January 25, 2019 at 9:23 pm #

    In this article, it basically discusses a study made that proved the character of a worker with a messy desk. According to this study, as illustrated in Rina Raphael’s “Got a Messy Work Desk? Study Reveals What Coworkers Really Think of You,” people who have messy desks are seen as careless. This study was conducted by bringing people to three different desks, each of the three being either clean, somewhat messy, and very messy. After being in these different work spaces, they gave their opinions on what they thought of the person who obtained these desks. As stated in the article, “In each experiment, they ranked the owner of the messy office as less conscientious than the organized office…,” which impacted their decision of whether or not they would like to work with that person. In the past, I have seen some articles that say that people with messy desks are actually viewed as a genius,” but I think this a more correct and valid view of this particular person. People with messy desks are disorganized, and in reality, these are the people one would not want to work with on any project. People should make sure that they keep there things tidy and have some sort of efficiency; it makes others view them in a more positive and professional way. When I begin my career, as an accountant, I want to make sure that, as a professional employee, I keep myself well ordered and systematic; I would not want to be looked at as a careless, disagreeable person to my colleagues or to my employer, which is why the best practice is when you practice at a young age. With this early practice, you would gain a better understanding of why someone should be organized and gets them accustomed to living an ordered lifestyle. I found this article an entertaining read because it gives you an exclusive look on a piece of research, proving a specific statistic or fact. I enjoy articles that has research supporting their argument. I also found it interesting because now, I have seen two different points of view on people’s persona when it comes to their organization.

  34. Daniel McNulty January 26, 2019 at 6:03 pm #

    In order to be a professional, one should not only act the part, but should look the part as well. Looking the part does not only pertain to physical appearance, but also includes the work space. If the work space that one may have is extremely messy, other individuals will not be likely to build a strong connection and will begin to make a snap judgement on what that messy individual is like. The main thing I think of when I see someone who does not maintain their property is laziness. In the field of business, or in any profession, laziness is not something to be tolerated. On the contrary, one who has a very neat and tidy work space comes off to be much more of a hard worker, and one that is on top of his business. In order to be successful and work at a higher level, being neat and organized is essential. If you are not organized, others will be less likely to continue to do business with you, as well as your level of personal success decreasing. Being organized is paramount to success and is something that will allow you to be more approachable to others as well.

  35. Cameron Lindley January 28, 2019 at 2:34 pm #

    I find this study to be very eye-opening to myself, for I am a messy person. After reading this it forced me to redefine my view upon a messy workspace or even messy dorm. My dorm is a wreck but it never really bothered me until now. Seeing as my mess can have a largely negative impact on people’s views of me, which I ignore as much as possible until the point that their opinion of me carries weight, such as an employer or coworker. This article forced me to reevaluate myself and the standards by which I adhere to. It has shown me a sort of laziness in my actions I have failed to notice and much more. This is a fast moving world with no place for laziness!

  36. David Torres January 29, 2019 at 10:49 pm #

    Being a very organized person, I was delighted after reading this article. A big priority of mine is keeping my bedroom neat and tidy at all times. I’m sure that many will agree with me that exposing your messy workspace, bedroom or even your home is a very embarrassing moment. This is the reason why I try to avoid this type of situation and a whole lot of embarrassment as well. I am going to have to strongly agree with the article about increased productivity and being able to concentrate at a steadier pace when a person’s workspace is organized. Although not stated in the article, I feel many people associate messiness, uncleanliness, and overall, disorganization with unpleasant odors. Association with foul odors is the worst of all because now people physically do not want to be in close proximity with you instead of just thinking you are disorganized.
    Participants in the research experiment thought of people that had poor organizational skills as “less agreeable, neurotic, as well as careless, cranky and uncaring.” The descriptions that stuck out to me the most were less agreeable and cranky. Could it actually be true that people who don’t keep a neat workspace tend to not agree well on topics with others? And are messy people actually crankier than the average person?
    After thinking about this for a while, I’ve made sense of it. Unorganized people may tend to not agree with others on certain things because they have completely different outlooks on the way they go about their lives. An unorganized person may think that he or she is not doing anything wrong. They may think of their clutter as necessary things that they need, but to others, it may be seen as a hoarding disorder. These types of unorganized people must change their bad habits to break through their comfort zone of laziness and disorganization. Additionally, I think people who lack organizational skills are crankier than their peers because they may be unhappy with themselves and how they continuously feel cluttered and overwhelmed with the mess they have created. They fail to have an appealing workspace that facilitates their work by making them function without the distraction that results in increased productivity.

  37. Luke Tyler January 31, 2019 at 2:06 pm #

    After reading Raphael’s article, I can directly relate my personal experiences to the effects of cleanliness in a work space. The University of Michigan office study found that the organization of a person’s desk can influence how their co-workers perceive them. At first glance, I was not at all surprised with the feelings tied toward those with messier desks. Reflecting on certain people in my life, I can connect these negative perceptions with the way they carry themselves and treat their space. Often, these people come to class late, forget the required book and are wearing sweats with slides. Like the study in the article, I typically view these types people as being less receptive and more absent minded. Usually it is hard to agree with person that is considered lazy because they give off an impression that you are not worth their time. In a co-working space this can be extremely problematic to the overall growth of a company. These negative perceptions can result in differing opinions and ineffectiveness between workers. While I tend to become messy when under stress, I try my best to organize myself as a way to show others that I do care. A lot of ways I accomplish this is through a routine and habitual practices that allow me to conduct myself in a professional matter. One of the most important ways I start off the day is to wear something that is casual enough to be comfortable but doesn’t give off the impression that I just got out of bed. However, there is more to exterior presence than just clothing choice. Having good posture at work or in class can really show how engaged a person is in a lesson or assignment. Also little things such as a neat work area and attentiveness let’s others know how involved you really are. Little things like these can improve the relationships you have with co-workers or professors. It is important to be active in your interactions with others in a professional setting because they will prove that you are a valuable team member. Even if I am at a stressful point and get a little disorganized, I take a break in order to gather my thoughts and restructure my plan. Overall having a well-mannered appearance and behavior allows a person to be more respected and can improve their productivity.

  38. Ashley Bock January 31, 2019 at 3:30 pm #

    As an individual who is for the most part organized, I have been around others who are not. The Fast Company article puts forth facts as to why individuals who are more prone to disorganization are less productive and thought of as uncaring by those who are. In some cases, this may be true depending on the person judging. However, in my case as an organized person, disorganization does not make me change my opinion on them or change how well they get work completed. Some of my close friends and family members may not be the most organized to someone merely looking at their room or work space, but they are in fact organized to some degree. Eric R. Abrahamson and David H. Freedman, the writers of “A Perfect Mess” explains exactly why some people are productive with a messy work space and how disorganization does not make someone more uncaring or less intelligent than one who is. Abrahamson and Freedman state, “various piles on a messy desk can represent a surprisingly sophisticated informal filing system that offer far more efficiency and flexibility than a filing cabinet could possibly provide” (A Perfect Mess). This statement, although I cannot attest for myself, makes sense to me as I have heard similar variations of this from a multitude of people. For some individuals, if a task or thing that must be done is not directly in front of their face or put in a “filing cabinet” they may forget to do it. Also, having papers or tasks open on a work space allows for easy accessibility and can be good as long as one does not lose track of the important documents. Many individuals, some whom I have known for years and others a few months, are messy. However, they are intelligent and get their work done effectively regardless of the space they are in. I agree that being messy is not always good and can cause for some to be looked down on because of. However, a messy work space does not define the person’s personality or even productivity because how one does their work and the effort or lack thereof that they put in is generally a choice made by each person and should not change depending on their environment.

  39. Claudia Ralph January 31, 2019 at 9:20 pm #

    As a person, I feel as if I go very hot and cold with organization, especially with my desk. I find myself “binge cleaning,” as I call it, frequently. This is always something I have tried to work on because as this article pinpoints, someone’s workspace is a reflection of who they are and how they work. I have always thought this, even when I was younger. The kids in elementary school with organized desks were always the ones getting higher grades on the spelling tests. This idea of cleanliness and organization is something that transcends the age scale. In middle school and high school it was the kids who didn’t wear sweatpants and kept their lockers clean who were the ones perceived positively. In college, its your friends who have clean rooms and organized binders. I absolutely agree with the article that there is a correlation between organization and perception. It does not go without saying that organization and intelligence are independent factors of each other. It is also important to note that competency and perception are different as well, just because someone is unorganized does not mean that they are any less competent.
    Though we are all guilty of feeding into these perceptions. As humans, it is natural for us to judge. And according to the article, our perceptions of each other are always something are going to affect the way we see people, even outside of the workplace. As someone who grew up with a mother who doesn’t even allow a sock to be on the floor, I absolutely have a negative perception of people who have messy houses or rooms. You would never see me outside of going to and from the gym in sweatpants because growing up all I saw my parents wearing was work clothes and I associate positive thoughts with well dressed people. Every person has a choice of what perception they want to give off to people in each facet of his or her life and work is no different.

  40. Ryan Bailly February 1, 2019 at 1:26 pm #

    Despite being an agreed upon practice to not judge a book by its cover, we can all admit we do it nevertheless. From looking at how the person assembles themselves for the day, walks and talks, and their work space. We all have that friend, family member, or co-worker who works among the hills of messy papers, books, notes, and missed paper balls beside the trash can. I for one like to keep both my public and private work spaces organized. To me, organized feels comforting in knowing where items are and that I can complete tasks in a timely fashion. Conversely, I know others who amid their mess feel most at home, despite their reoccurring frustration while trying to find specific documents buried beneath others. To each there own. That’s what I’ve always believed, so long as it does not affect or bleed into my work, let them be them. Contradicting my relative open thoughts on this, I still cringe when I see a messy desk and on an initial impression, question their ability to complete tasks accurately and in a timely manner. Thinking of when I first started at my current job, seeing a person’s desk for the first time represented their personality relatively well. Those that were neat were punctual and efficient. Those that had many accessory items on their desk were likely very friendly and outspoken. Those that sat in the far corners by choice and wore headphones were reserved in their thoughts. And finally, those who never utilized a filing cabinet or binders were typically tardy submitting their work or when prompted, struggled to locate the item in question. Overall yes, the article aligns greatly with my experiences and encapsulates what a desk work space says about the person working there.

  41. Abdulrafay Amir February 5, 2019 at 12:34 pm #

    A person’s workspace gives you a unique insight into the kind of person someone is. In most cases, that tends to be very true. It is very important to keep a clean and tidy workspace because organization is very important to have in your life. Compare two people: one has their priorities and things in order while someone is messy and all over the place. The one who has their life together has the proper organization skills that allow her/him to be able to keep track of different goals and tasks they need to get done. Organization allows for an individual to be highly motivated to want to get work done while disorganization creates laziness in the individuals mind. Not a lot of people seem to be able to focus properly when everything is a clutter and things are thrown around, but it has been seen to help some people focus.
    I believe that this cannot apply to every single person because not all people even care about the situation of their workspace and are able to work easily in these conditions. However personally, as a person who likes having my workspace tidy and clean, but also is not able to maintain it that way one hundred percent of the time, I took an interest in this article. I consider myself to be someone who cares about my work and tries to do the best I can when given a task to complete or homework from school. However, there are times where circumstances such as limited time, limited space, or working with others that may cause me to have an unclean work area. Or perhaps there are times where I am concluding incorrect things about those who are working around me. The study shows that there are different circumstances that people are resented with that force them to act accordingly.

  42. Jada Fletcher February 8, 2019 at 11:57 am #

    This article, I feel, is a great read for students and will encourage many to re-evaluate their level of organization and how it may be impacting their productiveness. For me personally, I have noticed that when my bedroom gets messy, besides me being late to class struggling to find everything I need, I also feel extremely frustrated and I lack motivation to get things done. However, when I clean my room/work space, it almost clears my mind. I am then able to sit down in my room with a new perspective and get my work done. Due to this, I have made it a point to clean my room 1-2 times a week to help keep myself from getting flustered and to ensure that I will not miss any deadlines when it comes to my work. I agree with the conclusion from the study that “an untidy work space can undermine people’s persistence to get tasks done,” because I have experienced that first-hand.
    It was interesting to read that people that work in a clean work space are able to work for 7.5 minutes longer than people who work in a work space that is messy. Although it may not seem like much, in the long run it really adds up. To put things into perspective, an extra 7.5 minutes a day would be 52.5 hours total a week that could be spent on getting more work done.
    As far as putting people into categories based on a few papers lying around on the floor or some books leaning sideways, I don’t think I would. I wouldn’t be so quick to associate that with uncleanliness or say that they are neurotic, careless and cranky. But I do agree with it decreasing someone’s productivity.

  43. Trovonta Burgess February 8, 2019 at 12:56 pm #

    From personal experience, I agree wholeheartedly with the argument of this article that having a clean workspace is important and reflects positivity. As it should be common knowledge for most, this study from the University of Michigan Flint and Ann Arbor provide supporting evidence on why the physical state of your workspace can determine so many things about your productivity. Similar to what’s stated within the article where if your office is cluttered, dirty, messy and piles of paper everywhere it creates a hectic and stressful environment. Along with adding the issue of not wanting to do work and the feeling of being overwhelmed more than usual. This relates to the productiveness as well because with those characteristics not much work can be accomplished and if so, maybe the quality is not the best. Whereas, with more of a neat, clean and organized office spaces thing tent to be less chaotic and more on a schedule-based set-up. Creating an environment where high-quality work is praised and everything is much more relaxed and calm also displaying a more professional workspace. I think if someone has a messy work desk it also reflects on their personal life or home, making it seem that they are accustomed to being messy and all over the place. Even though this may be very untrue, you can only judge by what’s shown. Which may also make coworkers hesitant to ask or rely on you for certain task. An unclean work area in other studies goes deeper into the phycological aspects of things examining different trains and habits that mentally cause issues with being messy. Overall, the cleaner the office the better the work environment and level of productivity. A clean workspace is rewarding and motivates the employee to produce great work in a timely manner. I know for me, I work best in an organized and neat office, where there are no misconceptions of not being able to handle my job and complete the task at hand. Though this is true in most cases, surprisingly enough there are some individuals who strive and create their best work in a messy or hectic work environment. Therefore, ultimately it depends on a personal preference and what works best for the individual.

  44. Marquis C February 8, 2019 at 3:51 pm #

    After reading this article, I believe more young students should read this. This was a great read because so many adults in the workplace have messy work spaces and aren’t able to work at full capability. However, I believe people form this habit earlier in their childhoods. It starts with a messy room, messy locker, etc…, instead of fixing it people just learn to live with their habits. Eventually, a domino effect happens and the messy workspace starts to represent people’s lives.
    The one thing I picked up right away at college, is that you will have a hard time getting any work done with a messy workspace. You have to create a clean and organized work space where you are able maintain focus and create efficiency in your work. I look at a cluttered workspace as the bigger the mess the bigger the stress. I’m willing to bet most of the workers in the University of Michigan study were unorganized in earlier part of their lives, and if not that they were experiencing a rough patch in their life.
    Altogether, I believe a messy work space goes deeper than most people can see. A work space is where you go to be creative with a clear mind and get your work/projects done. However, when you work in an unorganized space, you aren’t able to reach your full potential. The messier this space gets the less work you are able to get done, and the more stress starts to pile on. This is why it’s so important from a young age to keep the spaces around you clean, so the habit doesn’t snowball into adulthood.

  45. Santiago Gomez February 8, 2019 at 5:58 pm #

    After reading the article I completely agree with the argument Rina Raphael created. Having a clean workplace is important in one’s productivity and reflects who you are. But it is a habit that we created and that is very difficult to overcome. For me personally, I struggle with this issue. Having a clean workplace, bedroom, etc is difficult to change. As far as I can remember this issue started when I first started elementary school. Having a messy room was normal for me since I had parents who look after me and would clean it for me. As for today, I am more responsible with the bedroom, but struggle to have a clean workplace. Since I made my college education a priority for the next few years, I will need a space where I can focus and become more efficient. Since today I have a workplace of a lawyer. Papers everywhere, trying to find what I need to complete under this mess. Now, this does not represent my life. I am not a messy person, but I am a person who genuinely has a clean life. It just happens to be I place things and accumulate them until I find a need to clean them. And this is what college has struck me. I will need to maintain a good life balance, a clean workplace to finish my academic career. I do agree with the article, people will find you as a “less agreeable” and “less caring person”. I do not want to enter the workforce has had this habit following me. Having those bad habits can also create a loss of trust. A loss of trust because colleagues will find that it would impossible for someone to have an assignment completed on time. And college is a great opportunity to break that bad habit. To start being responsible and realize that a messy life will end in a messy ending.

  46. Horace Bryce Jr February 8, 2019 at 8:00 pm #

    Honestly I could not agree any more with an article. The way one keeps the spot in which they work reflects on how serious that job is to them. I always thought that the more serious you take your job the more you are to have you and your space presented in a professional way. This article really just back that up saying that productivity is directly correlated to productivity. Supported with “A recent study by Harvard University found yet another reason to get one’s work desk together: better productivity. Those who work in a clutter-free workspace are able to work steadily for 7.5 minutes longer than those in a cluttered workspace. The study concluded that an untidy workspace can “undermine people’s persistence in completing tasks.” Im not even the tidy type and my spaces tends to be more messy than clean. But I never thought that it had an effect on my productivity. A lot can be accomplished in 7.5 extra minutes. As I stepped back I did realize that when I am being productive in my very messy workspace when I look around and see all the papers and textbooks I happen to get extremely overwhelmed. This is something that happens subconsciously meaning that I had no control over it until I brought it into awareness. The fact that people with unbiased opinions on you, as showed in the article, can judge you on something so small. While it might be more of a subconscious thing for them as well it just shows how people tend to associate negative connotations with you when seem like you are not clean. Because clean is the new home. I guess you can compare this to that over how ordinary people treat homeless people. They tend to think they are uneducated, lazy, and lack of motivation to go and get a job. While it could be because this homeless person is a war veteran over lost his job unfairly. Its not about how you actually are its about how you present yourself.

  47. Joseph Simone February 15, 2019 at 12:04 pm #

    This article immediately reached out to me because even though I don’t have any experience in the workforce and being around a desk. I felt a relation with this article because I have had the pleasure of living with a messy roommate. When I mean messy I’m talking about this person’s clothes being all over the room, papers everywhere, empty water bottles, and clusters of uneaten food. It was an absolute disaster, and being a sort of neat freak myself it was very difficult living with him. So I have first hand experience with being around a messy person, even though there is nothing wrong with being messy. However I did notice that some of the things said in the article such as, “A new study finds that an untidy work space leads colleagues to perceive that the person is more neurotic, less agreeable, and pretty uncaring.” Match the characteristics of my roommate, being very careless with their belongings and was very hard headed. We didn’t get along very well because of this problem on how we lived our lives.
    Fast forward to present day, and I’m now living with him and four other teammates on the baseball team. The previous year we all lived together in a different house, and we were even considering not asking him to live with us the next year, because he was so messy. It came to the point where it was so frustrating being around such a messy environment that we didn’t want to live with him. So being messy doesn’t just affect you but the people around you. Thankfully my roommates and I had a conversation with him about this problem, he slowly is making adjustments to fix this habit. But all in all being a messy person not only reflects poorly on yourself but it also affects the people around your.

  48. Benjamin Cherisier February 15, 2019 at 2:13 pm #

    From personal living habits and experience in several workplaces, I think this article is very accurate. I’ve actually worked in the food business for several years. I can relate this article to my experience in the workplace because It was always the employees who tend to have messier workplaces who do not get food out on time, or cause other workers to fall behind on tasks. Clearly it is a problem to work with someone who is messy. They are a burden to everyone else.
    Messier people can cause many problems, especially when you have a team of people in the workplace working to get something really important done. Having that one messy person who never gets things done on time or does not know where things are is really frustrating. They will eventually need help and take valuable time away from other people to help them do their own task. It was never a good thing to be messy. If you have a messy car chances are nobody will want to be in your car. If you have a messy house chances are no one will want to come over. If you have a messy room chances are you are single. Of course everyone has at least a little mess here and there but there comes a point where the mess becomes unbearable for someone to sort out in a couple hours.
    Personally I think that being clean and organized relieves a lot of stress, I always keep my car clean, I try to clean my room every week. I am a shipping manager at a bookstore so it might be a little hard for me to keep everything clean because I ship books out from our warehouse so there’s always a mess to clean but after I’m done I always clean up the mess I made at least. Staying organized helps you work more efficiently and also relieved that there is one less thing you have to worry about. Gentry, Angie writes in “Why Organization Skills are Important”, ( there are several things that are a benefit to staying organized, she writes that staying organized reduces stress, it also benefits financial management and customer service.
    In conclusion organization is key to everything. If you want to go out for a vacation you need to plan it, if you want to pass a test you need to plan ahead when you are going to study if you want to be successful in life you need to plan everything.

  49. Devero McDougal II February 15, 2019 at 5:20 pm #

    This article was very interesting to read since this is something that I have thought of for a while. It makes since that a clean desk cause your coworkers to have a positive opinion of you. This is something that I was told at a young age by my parents that perception is important when I start to work. This goes for my coworkers, boss and of course me. Therefore if I see that my coworker has a messy desk will feel that they do not care because they know that everyone else can see their desk and it’s still dirty. Same goes for my boss I would not feel comfortable working for them if I see that they have a very messy desk it just would not sit right with me. The other thing that I found interesting is when the article brought up that it having a clean bedroom would cause you to want to work for 7.5 minutes longer. This makes since to me because having a clean room makes me want to be productive for some reason compared to when my room gets messy, then I ether want to leave it and go some where or not want to work at all. It is important to have a clean work space especially when their peers can see it. It is more respectful towards your peers if your area in not messy for everyone to see.

  50. Daniel Gibson March 1, 2019 at 1:06 pm #

    I couldn’t agree with this article anymore. Personally, I need to be organized and prepared, before I can accomplish any tasks. I can, but it just leads to stress. Yea sure you can have a messy workspace, and still get your work done, but you’re more prone to making mistakes. Whatever work you are doing, it should be the only thing in your mind. When your committed, you get you best work done. You can’t have distractions when you work, because your brain simply just can’t handle all this information.
    I don’t like to think of this as just a messy deck. I think its just being an organized and messy person in general. For example, studies all show the same result in making bed every morning. A person, that doesn’t make their bed is most likely to have that messy desk. How can you expect someone to get anything done, if they can even keep the simplest of things clean and organized?
    Having a neat desk now should be a priority fir you. If your boss, observes the work space, and sees all clean desks except for you, there is a good chance he will say something. It’s a lose lose situation, because not only is it worse for productivity, but you boss can be angry at you. When you make being organized one of your top priorities, life becomes much easier with every task. So, when it doubts, always straighten yourself up whether its your desk work, or cleaning your car.

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