Tips on what your desk really says about you
Are you a fan of potted plants, personal framed pictures and novelty desk mascots or do you prefer your desk to remain free of personal clutter? Do you thrive with a tidy desk or are you more efficient when your desk is untidy?
Online office broker officebroker.com has joined forces with business psychologists Pearn Kandola to find out what your desk really says about you. Louise Weston is a business psychologist at Pearn Kandola. She says: “You can certainly gain some insight into an individual’s personality and what motivates them by looking at how they organise their desk. In fact, it can even give managers a quick snapshot into how to best motivate members of their team.
“If someone has certificates or trophies on their desk, the chances are they need regular pats on the back and recognition for their achievements, perhaps by sending round an office email declaring what a great job they have done on a particular task. Pleasure seekers can be motivated by the offer of bonuses such as weekend breaks or trips to a top restaurant if they reach their ptargets, while those displaying lots of familyphotographs may be motivated by the offer of flexitime or time off in lieu.
“Changing the position of a person’s desk might seem trivial to a manager but can, in fact, have a profound effect on some employees, making them feel sidelined for example or creating a different environment which may take them time to adjust to.”
Pearn Kandola and officebroker.com offer the following examples:
A person who displays targets or project charts on or around their desk is often highly motivated by achievement and by setting goals for themselves.
Those with pictures of their family or friends on their desk and an array of personal paraphernalia tend to be more people focussed and are motivated by their relationships both inside and outside of the work place.
Employees who have screen savers or calendars depicting tropical beaches tend to be more hedonistic – for them motivation is all about the pleasure principle. They seek pleasure in every opportunity, perhaps preferring to meet clients over lunch at a nice restaurant, for example.
People with ‘stylish’ desks, perhaps with an Apple Mac on it because they “like the design”, or with stylish flowers or plants tend to be motivated by culture and the environment in which they work.
Desks without any personal objects are often the preserve of the introvert – these people might even use files to create a barrier around themselves and their work. They prefer their desks to face into a wall rather than out into the office.
Conversely, people who use their desks to display their personalities tend to be more extrovert and may even have joke calendars or desk top toys to draw people over to their work space and create a talking point. These types of people prefer desks facing out to the rest of the team.
A neat and tidy desk is often a sign of a highly conscientious individual – someone who is well organised and prefers to focus on one thing at a time.
A more spontaneously organised desk shows someone who is good at multi tasking and can switch between different tasks quite quickly and easily. They tend to be flexible and creative in their approach to work.