What's Your Office Cleanliness Style?
If you’re not lucky enough to be working in those mythical “paperless offices” we’ve been promised for a while, odds are good you have a fair share of paperwork and other stuff taking up space in your office or cubicle. These quick questions can reveal clues as to your office cleanliness style:
When sitting at your desk, you see:
(a) Books arranged neatly (in alphabetical order, of course) on overhead shelves–and the beautifully bare expanse of your desk, so shiny it could be used as a mirror if the need arises.
(b) A few piles of paperwork, some pictures of your kids and possibly something with the company logo, just in case your supervisors stop by.
(c) Desk? There’s a desk in here?
If alerted that the “Office Committee on Decluttering” (OCD) would be conducting a surprise cubicle inspection in five minutes, you would:
(a) Already know about it, since of course you are the OCD chairman.
(b) Use the “sweep technique,” opening drawers and sweeping all the papers off your desk into them.
(c) Bang out a quick resignation letter. Finding a new job would be easier than cleaning this mess!
The last time you organized your workspace was:
(a) Every morning at 8:15 exactly–it’s a standing agenda item on your Oracle calendar.
(b) When you had a few spare minutes, but you do try to clean up when things get too messy or you know someone important will be stopping by.
(c) When the half-eaten sandwich that had fallen under your desk began walking across the room.
If the majority of your answers are:
A’s: You are either lying, or are secretly hated by your co-workers. You may have never heard the old saying, “A clean desk is a sign of a sick mind.” Seriously, we envy your organizational abilities, as long as you’re not obsessing over workplace cleanliness to the point where you’re afraid to actually use your workplace. Your messy officemates may mock you, but the "Brazen Careerist" Penelope Trunk has your back: The admitted messy desk hater loves to tout a survey linking messy desks to inefficiency.
B’s: Congratulations, you’re human. Like most of us, you have a workspace with a “lived-in” look. It may not be spotless, but you know (pretty much) where everything is, and it’s reasonably presentable. Still, some office organizing supplies may help you keep things under control.
C’s: That “office-wide” memo about the health hazards of unsanitary workspaces? You’re the only one who got it. Yes, we know about the survey where high-income execs admit they’re not neat freaks, but there’s a fine line between being amusingly disorganized and being a candidate for Hoarders: Office Edition–and you crossed it long ago.
Image courtesy of Phil Campbell