Our office is not unusual. We have around <X> employees and our offices span <X floors> each with a coffee machine and break out area where last night’s TV can be avidly discussed. There’s a mix of people – male, female, young and not so young, different races, persuasions and working techniques. And naturally there’s a mix of different ‘desk styles’. By desk styles I don’t mean the design of desk, though of course we’re lucky enough to be able to road-test the latest ranges from our suppliers. No I mean, how me and my colleagues operate at our desks, how we use the space, how we claim it as our own. Now it’s fair to say, and my colleagues will be the first to agree here, that I’m a bit of a hoarder.

It’s not intentional and in fact every time (well once a year when it happens) I clear and sort out my desk, I make a solemn promise that I will keep it that way and it will never again reach the disturbingly overgrown height of abandonment I have just rescued it from. I mean, seriously how could I?

A pile of trade magazines teeters on the far edge of my desk, my in-trays are buckling under the weight of the papers concerning long-since past projects and I have a stack of memory sticks just begging to be uploaded and sent to cloud heaven. Yet, every time I approach ‘operation clear-out’ a tiny voice in the back of my head will be laughing. It knows this is just who I am and how I work and instead (I like to believe) asks ‘shouldn’t we be celebrating this creative trait?’ Right across from me, my two colleagues, couldn’t be more different. Their Scandinavian less-is-more approach to their work environment leaves me in awe. From the precisely ordered pens in their drawers to the angle of their keyboards, it’s clear everything has been considered, counted and controlled. Feng shui for desks really does exist! For me, this is exactly what makes an office so interesting. It perfectly reflects and sums up the mix of different people that are brought together under a company’s roof and I’m no psychiatrist but I’d take a guess that the state of a person’s desk speaks volumes about their personality. I wouldn’t mind betting that someone, somewhere has carried out research, perhaps even tested theories and written a thesis on this very subject. Me, I’m going to stick with my plan to embrace my inner zen and for today at least, cut back on the number of biros I inadvertently seem to collect as I go about my day. As they say, baby steps….!