Why it’s okay to ignore the national “Clean off Your Desk Day”

Cluttered desks are often the sign of a creative genius. Here’s proof…

Today is officially recognized as national Clean Off Your Desk Day but before you chastise a co-worker for their cluttered workspace, it might be worth remembering that creative geniuses are often among the messiest of us.

A study conducted by the University of Minnesota found that people who worked at a messy desk – even if it wasn’t necessarily their own - were more prone to creativity and risk taking.

“You can get really valuable outcomes from being in a messy setting,” confirmed psychologist Kathleen Vohs. “Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights.”
And there are plenty of high-profile names to support the theory too.

Mark Zuckerberg
Undoubtedly one of the most well-known, modern-day geniuses of our time – Mark Zuckerberg’s disorganised desk clearly has no impact on his productivity.

Albert Einstein
“If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” – Albert Einstein, philosopher, physicist and Nobel Prize winner.

Tony Hsieh
As CEO of Zappos, Hseih heads up one of the world’s largest and fastest-growing online shoe stores – his desk features cowboy hats and crouching monkeys.

Dennis Crowley
Foursquare founder and CEO Dennis Crowley helps people all over the world make the most of any destination. Perhaps the penguins offer advice too…

Mark Twain
The mountain of papers did nothing to prevent American author Mark Train from penning a multitude of timeless classics.

More like this:
Disappearing desks the key to productivity?
Ergonomics of trust – does your office space foster productivity?
Is your desk less hygienic than a toilet?  

Recent articles & video

SHRM removes ‘equity’ from DEI program ‘to address flaws’

Where are the best countries for work-life balance?

CEO goes on 6-nation tour to recruit talent: report

China leads in generative AI adoption worldwide

Most Read Articles

1 in 2 employers to adopt AI in automating employees' tasks: survey

Sack the weak?

Engineer fired for objecting to DEI training: reports