Credit: Roger Goun/Flickr

What does your desk say about you?

'Novelty Ninny', 'Sticky Note Addict' or 'Hoarder? A questionable press release has all the answers.

by Jack Torrance
Last Updated: 25 Mar 2015

An interesting email landed in MT's inbox yesterday. The press release from claimed that 'researchers' had identified 'seven distinct groups' of office desk 'personalities'. Quite why researchers would be doing such a thing isn't clear, although it's probably safe to assume the results won't be forming the basis of a PhD thesis, especially given that it fails to spell out any of its methodology.

'Numerous sticky notes and growing piles of paper can say more than you might think about you and your colleagues,' said a mysteriously nameless spokesperson from the company. 'While your desk may seem like your own space, desk habits can influence how you conduct yourself with co-workers and can become annoying.' Insightful.

The seven personality types predictably include 'The Neat Freak', who is 'highly organised but also quite uptight',  and the 'Novelty Ninny' (the proper scientific name, of course) which 'loves animal-shaped stationary, humorous mugs and mini table-top snooker.'

Those who have pictures of family and pot plants apparently belong in the 'Home Away from Home' category of 'caring, family orientated and refreshingly honest people in the workplace who don’t keep secrets.' Those who irritatingly plaster their desks with sticky notes are supposedly 'reliable and efficient,' a pretty bold claim.

Messy colleagues apparently fall into three categories. Those whose desk resembles 'organised chaos' are likely to be 'creative thinkers and problem-solvers' and those who keep piles of old documents 'may be holding onto a grudge' - watch out everyone. Workers with mess spreading on to others' desks are apparently 'visual thinkers' rather than just inconsiderate tossers.

We look forward to seeing more useful and incisive research in the future.

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