IT Employment

The Cluttered Workspace Hall of Shame

TechRepublic members have submitted photos of their deliciously disordered workspaces. Take a look at the gallery.

I have mentioned before in this blog that I work better in a semi-cluttered office. That's because the way my brain works, if it's out of sight it's out of mind. My co-workers all seem to be obnoxiously neat and organized so I stick out as a bit of a sore thumb around here.

I thought it would make me feel better to see the cluttered work areas of others so I sent out an appeal to the TechRepublic community for examples of their own messy workspaces. Some of the images barely qualified as messy--my philosophy is if you can still see the surface of the desk it's not really cluttered. But some of the images just made me tremble with glee and showed workspaces that were not only cluttered but perhaps violated OSHA codes.

So I invite you to look at the images and gloat with superiority or wallow in the knowledge that you are not alone in your "deskular" chaos.  Click here to see the Cluttered Workspace gallery.

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

12 comments
K James
K James

Wow, I feel a lot better about my desk after seeing some of these entries....

de.doughboy
de.doughboy

I am also a clutterholic. I tend to save everything. I have to take a few hrs each Saturday just to clean up or I cant find my desk. 5S-rules say that we have to Simplify, label and shine everything. One person came along and put everything in bins for us but we couldn't find anything afterwards, and productivity was reduced. Do you have any suggestions that would prevent red-tagging things over 6-months old?

DharmaChappell
DharmaChappell

In my 26 years of working in IT I have found that to be effective you must be able to multitask. If you are multitasking, you can't keep putting away things you are working on or you are reduced to being unproductive in your goal of solving IT issues. You risk being just compulsive in your obsession with creating order out of messy creativity.

joseph_mcmanus
joseph_mcmanus

When I got to Image #16, I said out loud, to my wife "And I thought your desk was bad, this guys makes yours look like an operating room," Well her reply can NOT be repeated in any media WHAT SO EVER(!) :-) At least she felt better afterwards, Thanks for the laughs Toni, I REALLY needed them, Oh, BTW my wife agrees with your philosophy on desk/workspace hygiene/organization (even if she won't admit to it). L8R

Wild Wombat
Wild Wombat

I am sorry but I fail to see the "Shame" in any of these pictures, all they show are super productive workspaces, the Hall of shame are the desks all neat with nothing on them, this is where you find all of the people who do nothing. The other thing that all of these pictures show is how modern Human Resources have failed knowledge workers by jamming them into smaller and smaller postage stamp size workspaces and them haveing the hide to say that your working in either an unsafe enviornment or you have a cluttered workspace Shame HR/Bean Counters Shame.

j.a.dunagan
j.a.dunagan

I think I'm in about 80th to 85th percentile amongst this Gallery in degree of clutter.

LvTravel
LvTravel

Some I have seen at my place of employment are this way as well as the floor being as cluttered as the desk. The thing as an IT Manager I really dislike those that use their keyboards and computer equipment as if they were dishes--litteraly food embedded in the keyboard and on the mouse and they wonder why the equipment doesn't work?? Makes you wonder what their home is like doesn't it?

daveevans28
daveevans28

HA! I have most of them beat. Where do I upload???

ecto04
ecto04

Most of these "cluttered" workspaces are anything but! I was particularly happy to see that a couple of them are worse than mine, though...

joseph_mcmanus
joseph_mcmanus

The point being that we all have either "a signifiant other," a co-worker, etc. that works like this, (BTW, my desk is in the Pic #1 range), IT WAS ALL JUST FOR LAUGHS, LIGHTEN UP WILL YOU, oh, BTW, switch to decaf, it might help a bit! L8R

karen
karen

Most of these are obviously non tech wannabees. Us genuine ones are too busy trying to find the phone to upload their pics!

daveevans28
daveevans28

I'm sure! Those are just office desks. The one I want to upload is of my bench, which just doesnt get clean no matter how hard i try.....and I didn't have my phone yesterday!

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