What does your Desk say about you?
Your office space and its desk, might it be home to the odd potted plant, personal photograph or maybe even a novelty mascot or would you rather your desk remain free of personal clutter? Do you do well to have a clear and organised desk or are you more efficient when your desk is untidy?
Online office broker, officebroker.com which works with 97% of the UKΓÇÖs serviced office space providers and landlords, have begun working with leading business psychologists Pearn Kandola to uncover what your desk really says about you. Is an untidy desk where the creative geniuses are nestled or does fluffing your own ΓÇÿnestΓÇÖ at the office make you feel settled and like you belong?
ΓÇ£Walk into any company and the chances are you will find people whose desks are all very differently organised,ΓÇ¥ says Andy Haywood, joint Managing Director of officebroker.com. ΓÇ£While some companies might in fact employ a policy or have a culture of desk etiquette, it seems the majority simply leave desk decorating decisions down to the individual employee.ΓÇ¥
ΓÇ£So can you really be efficient if your desk is messy? And can employers determine what best motivates an individual by the state of their desk?ΓÇ¥ asks Andy. ΓÇ£We thought it was time to find out!ΓÇ¥
Louise Weston is one of the business psychologists working with Pearn Kandola. She says: ΓÇ£You can certainly gain some insight into an individualΓÇÖs 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.ΓÇ¥
Pearn Kandola and officebroker.com offer the following examples:
- Employees that have project charts or targets on or surrounding their office desk are often increasingly motivated by achievement and by setting targets for themselves.
- Those with photos of their family or friends on their desk and a display of personal things have a tendency to be more of a ΓÇÿpeopleΓÇÖs personΓÇÖ and are motivated by their relationships both inside and outside of the office.
- People who have calendars or screen savers displaying exotic places and tropical beaches are often more hedonistic ΓÇô for them drive is all about the enjoyment factor. They look for enjoyment in every occasion, perchance choosing to meet clients over lunch at a fine restaurant, for example.
- Those with ΓÇÿtrendyΓÇÖ office desks, are more than likely to have an Apple Mac on it because they ΓÇÿlike the way it looksΓÇÖ, or with tasteful flowers or objects are more likely to be motivated by culture and their office surroundings.
- An office desk without any personal ΓÇÿbits and piecesΓÇÖ is usually home to the introvert ΓÇô these people may even utilize office files and such like office objects to form a barrier around themselves and their work. They prefer their desks to be directed towards a wall rather than face out into the office.
- On the contrary, those who use their desks to show their personalities are usually more extroverted and may even have novelty calendars or desk top toys to invite people over to their office work space and generate a talking point. These kinds of people prefer desks facing out to their ΓÇÿaudienceΓÇÖ and the rest of the office.
- A clear and organised office desk is often an indication of a conscientious individual ΓÇô an individual who is well organised and prefers to focus on one thing at a time.
- A more impulsively ordered desk demonstrates someone who is skilful at multi tasking and can change between different tasks quite quickly and easily. They are usually flexible and creative in their attitude to work.
ΓÇ£PeopleΓÇÖs desks can give employers and Managers an insight into what makes individuals in their organisation tick,ΓÇ¥ explains Louise. ΓÇ£And changing the position of a personΓÇÖs 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.ΓÇ¥
Louise Weston, Business Psychologist
ΓÇ£From a motivational perspective, Managers should look at a personΓÇÖs desk to determine how to get the best out of that individual,ΓÇ¥ she continues. ΓÇ£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 targets, while those displaying lots of family photographs may be motivated by the offer of flexitime or time off in lieu for example.ΓÇ¥
Andy Haywood says: ΓÇ£EveryoneΓÇÖs desk is different and we can all find out more about what makes our colleagues tick by taking a look at their desks. It is a fun and fascinating, but actually quite serious, way for employers to determine how to improve performance or productivity and realise that there is no such thing as a ΓÇÿgoodΓÇÖ or ΓÇÿbadΓÇÖ desk ΓÇô each individual performs best when they are allowed to express themselves and their personality in the work place and their desk is often one very easy way to do this.ΓÇ¥