Monday, October 13, 2008

Clean Desk

Audi implements a clean desk policy while Herman Miller is more tolerant. An excerpt from the Fortune article:

Some researchers, however, dispute the benefits of a spotless workplace. When Herman Miller (MLHR), an office furniture supplier, conducted an observational study of workplace organizational habits, they found that "filers" actually stored more useless information than their unkempt counterparts. The company identified a group of "work masters," or efficient employees, and reported that those staffers were more inclined towards piling than filing.

[My own objective study has found that the messy desk people are better looking, fun at parties, and kind to animals.]


Anonymous said...

If, as one of my early bosses told me, "A cluttered desktop is the sign of a cluttered mind," what is an empty desktop the sign of?

Michael Wade said...

Quite true.

I wonder how many desks at Audi will simply be emptied, every evening, into drawers.

Rowan Manahan said...

I had a boss many years ago who had all the desk drawers in the building locked to prevent such short-cutting. Inevitably, people started clearing their desk top into a pilot's case and bringing it out to their cars in the evening.

We wasted massive amounts of time and energy on this 'issue.' The perils of working for an Obsessive Compulsive ...

Michael Wade said...


That's a grand example of "Shine it must, work it may."

Unknown said...

Writers who are writing have piles of books, bookmarked, shut & open; several dirty coffee cups, notebooks, papers, and pens everywhere.

Writers who are blocked? That's when they clean their desks. Start organizing stuff.

You can always tell when a creative person is blocked.

Their desks are tidy.

Michael Wade said...


I've got several writing projects right now and my desk resembles your description!