It turns out the ‘clean desk policy’ may not be the best choice with regards to creativity. Research shows that when people are placed in a tidy room they favor conventional choices. They want everything to stay the same. When placed in a messy room, participants would choose more ‘outside the box’ or new choices.
Other studies support this finding. The University of Groningen (in the Journal of Consumer Research) stated that the “problem-solving approaches messy desks seem to cause can boost efficiency or enhance employees’ creativity in problem solving.”
It seems that more unstructured environments stimulate a more unstructured way of thinking.
If innovational thinking is what a company is looking for, the ‘clean desk policy’ is not the way to go.
What do you prefer regarding your work space?