There’s Creative Value to a Messy Desktop, But Not to The Jungle That Lies Below

Einstein's Desk
6/5/2015

It’s fairly common knowledge that workers who keep their desks clean and orderly are generally more efficient at their jobs. They know how to get right on task and get things done.

Yet there are defenders of the messy desk, perhaps none more renowned than the late Albert Einstein, who once said, “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?”

Since Albert isn’t around any more to defend workplace clutter, it was up to a team of researchers at the University of Minnesota a couple of years ago to rise to the defense of creative people with abominable housekeeping skills. They conducted a series of tests to see how people performed in a well-ordered  office as opposed to those working in a messy office. Not surprisingly, the study did indeed find that the test subjects worked more efficiently in a clean office, and somewhat unexpectedly, made healthier choices for lunch.

Test subjects put in a messy office had more creative ideas and were more willing to think outside of the box, which is to be expected since they rarely put anything away inside a box. They also had lousy diets, choosing chocolate rather than an apple for a snack. (Well, yeah, but who wouldn’t? But let’s move on.)

At TechDek Products, when someone mentioned this study after stumbling across a two-year-old New York Times article on it  buried on his desk, we read the article with interest. But we discovered a major flaw in the researcher’s focus. They only considered the mess on the desktop. They never looked below the desk.

Go ahead, look under your desk. Unless you still use a typewriter, you’re likely to see a tangled jungle of cables and wires, including a power cord that used to plug into a huge desktop computer that the company got rid of at the turn of the century. A jungle? It’s more like a chapter out of the “Heart of Darkness.” The horror, the horror.

If you’re one of those with a messy desk, go look under a desk of a co-worker who keeps her workplace neat as a pin – but wait until she goes out to lunch at some natural food restaurant so you don’t creep her out. What you’ll see is the same jungle that’s under your desk, including disconnected cords that an IT staffer gave up on trying to trace.

Nobody keeps wires and cables underneath a desk neat and orderly. Many of us try, even the messy, creative people, but we all experience the same failure and share the same fear that we’ll bring the whole company network down if we stretch our leg and get our foot ensnared in those thick vines of black and gray.

Nobody, that is, unless you buy TechDek’s Cable Corrals. Whether you eat healthy or don’t know what a box is for, you’ll appreciate TechDek’s products that take the cable jungle off the floor and lets you  slide them into an orderly array in our wall- or desk-mounted corrals. And you only have to do it once. The corrals keep the cables in place.  When it does come time for the IT staff to swap out equipment, they can easily trace the cord so they leave no orphan behind.

It’s a jungle down there. Clear it off once and for good with TechDek Cable Corrals. They may even improve your diet.

Tags: messy desk