What does your desk say about you?

Everything about us from the way we walk to how we decorate our bedroom, speaks volumes about us.  After moving into a new office space, I quickly went on to pour a little personality onto my desk.  It wasn't until my colleague pointed out how it was 'so me' that I noticed how much it showcased my personality and what's important to me.  The journalist in me decided to do a quick Google search and 'Voila', there it was.

Lily Bernheimer, an environmental psychologist came up with an evidence-based breakdown to describe five different personality desk types.  Her results were based on personality research, environmental psychology and 'Big Five' personality traits (extroversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neurotic and openness to experience).

So, how accurate is what your desk says about you?



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A clutterer's desk is chaotic, colorful and often covered in personal effect.  If this is you,  Bernheimer would describe you as extroverted and if given a choice, are happier being at the circulation crossroads in the office.  You're probably so busy and active that you really don't have time to clean up.



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Do you love routine?  Are most of your notes, reminders, and appointments scheduled into your phone?  Then you are most likely a minimalist.  Likely to be high in traits of conscientiousness and discipline, you are hardworking, achievement-oriented and reliable.  Thriving on structure and planning, you aim to be extremely tidy which may have people consider you an introvert.

You don't need to have pictures of all your family and friends on display, but not making at least a small personal mark on your desk gives off the impression that you don't plan to stay long in your role.



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Ever catch yourself spilling your stuff onto a colleague's space?  Ding, ding, ding, you are very likely an Expander.  Tending to be more aggressive about claiming your area in the office you might sometimes ignore the fact that you have boundaries.  

"People who have more dominant personality types are more defensive of their space," says Bernheimer.  Just be careful with encroaching on other people's personal space.  You don't want to be that annoying person nobody wants to sit next to.



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ME! ME! ME!  Do you have travel photos, art work, personal books or mementos on your desk?  Welcome to the club.  You might be a personalizer like me.  A simple, stylish or unusual workspace tell people that you are high in the trait called 'openness', which means you're likely to be high in creativity, intellectuality and openness to new experiences," says Bernheimer.

Curious, extroverted and creative; you are more likely to have greater job satisfaction, psychological well-being and even physical health.  A win for both employee and employer.



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Have you built your own little fortress around your workspace?  Hate having your back to the wall?  Chances are you prefer to work alone and too much distraction or interaction can throw you off your game.  As a surveyor, you have most likely situated yourself up to have a good view of everybody surrounding you.

More introverted than the average person, people may see you as not being the most helpful or cooperative team member.  On the plus side, as a surveyor you tend to be high in creativity and productivity.

Is your desk saying what you want about you?