Are Messy Desks a Sign of Creative Genius or Neurotic Clutter?

Cluttered Desk“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”  ~Albert Einstein 

Walking through your office space, you probably see many different desks in any state of unruliness. From prim and proper tidiness to the “one-stack” desks that boast a singular messy pile of papers, and even the scattered desks that seem like they’ll never come back from their state of clutter, everyone has their own process when it comes to workspace cleanliness. The initial thought to seeing a messy desk might be “laziness,” but what if messy desks were just another sign of creativity and intelligence?

Office Space Solutions takes a look below the surface of the world of desk clutter into the relationship between conventionality and creativity:

  1. People with messy desks often have high creativity levels. The research is in: those with messy desks score higher in tests revolving storytelling, unusual visualizations, humor, and thinking outside the box.
  2. Productivity between messy and orderly people doesn’t suffer. The idea that disorganized people aren’t as productive as their orderly counterparts just isn’t true. While research shows that the same amount of ideas can be generated between messy and orderly areas, people with messy rooms were rated as having more interesting and creative ideas overall.
  3. Messy people are adaptable. Messy people can focus, even when their surrounding areas are less-than put together. Making order out of chaos is one of the best problem-solving tactics that messy people use!

Structure Your Surroundings YOUR Way

We are influenced by our surrounding environments. One study suggests that we can learn to structure our environments to suit our own goals. Are your workspace goals to promote creativity or adapt to a new way of learning? Then allowing employees to leave piles of papers unkept on their desks might not be a bad idea. But, if you’re looking to bring more order to your office space, encouraging employees to tidy up the unnecessary clutter on their desk spaces might be a good place to start.