Office Clutter – Two Views

On the same day last week, I read two completely different posts about office clutter and how the writers feel about it. 

The first one, Ruth Graham’s In Defense Of Office Clutter makes a case for mess.  Actually, the author doesn’t have much clutter, (despite the picture that accompanies the story, which is not her office) although she asks if her office’s condition makes her a candidate for the TV show Hoarders.  No, it doesn’t; however, she may be right when she asks “Does this state of office dishevelment reflect poorly on me as a worker…?”

It’s true that people have different levels of acceptance for clutter; however, Office Max released a report earlier this year, indicating that clutter affects us negatively at work.

Some of their statistics:

90% of Americans admit that clutter has a negative impact on their lives
77% said clutter affected productivity
65% said clutter affected their state of mind
53% said clutter affected their motivation
40% said clutter affected their happiness
35% of people surveyed said they would be “ashamed” if someone saw their workspace. 

In Clutter Wars: Work Edition Chana Schoenberger says “too much junk on my desk makes me less efficient.”  She goes on to say, “Clutter presents a problem of perception at the office.”

The Office Max study substantiates her claim, revealing that we are critical of others, regardless of what our own spaces look like.  Seeing a colleague’s cluttered workspace leads 40% of people in the survey to assume that the person “must be lacking in other aspects of his or her job.”

What do you think is a comfortable level of stuff on your desk or in your workspace? Do you work with people whose clutter makes you discount their quality and/or quantity of work?

Organized by MarcieTM: Save time and money by letting go of what you don’t need and finding room for what you value
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