John Stancavage: Poll: Co-workers view desktop 'hoarders' as disorganized
BY JOHN STANCAVAGE World Business Editor
Sunday, April 01, 2012
4/01/12 at 3:02 AM
I used to sit next to a co-worker who would allow piles of paper to build up to a Rocky Mountain high. Like the surface of a slippery tectonic fault line, the material would seep over onto my desk or creep underneath.
Pushed along with this flow would be a handful of empty pop cans, water bottles, discarded pennies and snack wrappers.
I always wondered if this behavior in the office meant the person's home was in a similar state - the kind you see on A&E's truly frightening reality series, "Hoarders."
I admit that my own desk often is not a shining example of minimalism. But every so often I do a grand cleaning, and in between I at least try not to let the gross stuff like sticky Coke cans and stale Doritos fragments hang around as snacks for various building critters. As my wife likes to say, THAT would be disgusting.
Inspired by the arrival of spring, national staffing firm Adecco recently did a poll on workspace cleanliness. Here are some of the results:
Can you go too far with this cleanliness thing? If you spend too much of your time scrubbing and shining and not enough working, yes. Or, possibly, some of your methods may be seen as overboard.
- Your co-workers are probably judging you based on your workspace. Forty-two percent of Americans view co-workers with a dirty workspace more negatively while 45 percent judge them more positively if their surroundings are clean.
- A clean workspace equals a productive workspace. Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of Americans think people are most productive when their workspace is clean.
- Some workers believe cleanliness is key to doing their jobs. More than a third (38 percent) of those polled think employees' performance evaluations should be tied to how tidy their workspace is while more than a quarter (27 percent) think employees should be given a bonus for keeping a tidy workspace.
- Yes, other people are grossed out by your trash. Forty-five percent of Americans have been appalled by how dirty someone's workspace is.
- Are you a hoarder? Maybe, maybe not. Forty-two percent of Americans think employees with messy desks are simply too busy to clean them, while a third (33 percent) think employees are just lazy.
I got some raised eyebrows from co-workers, for example, when I started one morning by spraying my desk with a special staph-killing disinfectant. What they hadn't seen was the mustard stain, ground beef granules and puddle of french fry oil I'd just swept off from some night-shift dinner.
Undaunted, I gave my telephone a second coat of anti-germ spray and scrubbed it vigorously.
Adecco suggests check-marking one day a month on your calendar to spend 15 minutes tidying up your space. To be even cleaner, buy a can of disinfecting wipes and use them once a week on your desk, phone, keyboard and mouse.
I bet it will feel good to come clean.
Original Print Headline: Poll: Desktop 'hoarders' are seen as disorganized