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Can a messy desk have its benefits?

Posted by
10 Feb 2014

When I read in a magazine that a messy desk can be beneficial, I jumped at the chance to discover some positive reasons on this and researched the subject online.
A recent study by the University of Minnesota found that untidy desks could be advantageous in some cases. It suggested that a messy desk can promote better creativity when coming up with ideas.
Having looked at the photos of the desks used in the study (, I am glad to see that my desk is not quite so untidy but I have a lot of paper - the unavoidable problem of working in finance!

Considering this implication in a finance department, my first thought is that an orderly environment would be more beneficial to ensure that tasks are completed. However, creativity may be an overlooked aspect within finance - if we do not take the time to think outside the box about our day-to-day tasks, how will we come up with innovative ways of improving our processes?
While I do not think that we should have untidy desks, I can understand the benefits that have been found.

Learning about how your workspace is organised has definitely prompted me to think about creativity - something that had not been brought to my attention before. Innovation certainly has its place in our department, though we do need to ensure that our focus is on meeting deadlines.
Do you have any thoughts on creativity within a Finance office? Share your thoughts with us below!

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