Your desk says a lot about you even if you don’t mean it to, which can be pretty revealing… You can tell a lot about a person just looking at their desk. When you spend so much time working at your desk, whether at home or in the office, it starts to become an important part of your life. This means that it can start to reflect your personality – whether you want it to or not! Ultimately, people can glance at your desk and tell a bit about your personality, your working style and your hobbies. You can do the same by looking at your colleagues’ desks, which can help you work out who the organised one is in the office, who is most likely to have some snacks and who has similar interests to you. Of course, you shouldn’t replace talking to your colleagues with a quick glance at the workspace, but you might want to be aware of how your desk makes you seem to other people. So exactly what does your desk say about you? Cluttered desks For some people, the phrase ‘organised chaos’ is incredibly apt – although there may be a lot more chaos than organisation! There is always at least one person in the office with a cluttered desk that is a mess of work papers, stationery and personal items. If you can’t find something, there’s a good chance it is buried on their desk somewhere. While a cluttered desk doesn’t look great, you’ll usually find that those who operate with a messy workspace are outgoing and friendly, so they’re always welcoming of their colleagues. Most people who have a cluttered desk are also fairly creative and more concerned with other aspects of their work rather than how their workspace looks. On the downside, all that clutter can be a good indication that they may not be the most organised individuals. So if you’re working with a teammate who is a bit messy, you might need to keep them on track and on task. If you’re the one with the messy desk, try having a clearout every week or so, if only so your colleagues don’t get increasingly nervous that your clutter will spread to their desks. Minimalist desks If it’s organisation you’re after, go to someone with a minimalist desk. An ordered desk with minimal items on it is usually a sign that someone thrives on structure, which is always good if you have a deadline or are working on an ongoing project across multiple teams. More often than not, a minimalist desk is kept that way for practicality – after all, excess items are only going to get in the way and stop you achieving your goals. Those who work hard and want to get the most out of their workday are more likely to have a desk that is kept as clean and clear as possible. However, it can make it seem to colleagues that there is a lack of personality or that you aren’t invested in the company so won’t be sticking around. It’s often a good idea to get a balance between personalisation and minimalism, especially if you don’t want people to think you’re boring! Personalised desks Some people aren’t happy in their workplace unless they seem to move into it. They personalise their desk as soon as they can, whether it’s with photos, ornaments, plants or anything else they like having around. This doesn’t mean their desk is untidy, it just has a lot going on and means you can tell a lot about them. As well as giving insight into what someone likes doing outside of work, a personalised desk is a good indication that someone is creative and outgoing. They don’t mind people knowing things about them so they are happy to put their passions on display. It’s also likely that they feel more at ease in the office because they have their personal items to-hand, while certain belongings may inspire their creativity. While your creativity is obvious if you have personalised your desk, it might leave people wondering why you have certain items lying around – although this can be a great conversation starter. People might also expect you to be an oversharer when it comes to your personal life. Prepared desks There is always that person in the office who is prepared for literally everything. Feeling a bit ill? They’ll have some medicine. Forgot your lunch? There are definitely whole meals never mind snacks in those drawers. Need a hole punch for some reason? They’ve got you covered. You definitely want to make friends with the prepared person. Someone who is always prepared is generally a hard worker. They’ve got everything they could possibly need as they don’t want anything getting in the way of them getting the job done. They’re probably quite creative too and you’ll find that they’ve got out-of-the-box solutions at the ready for almost any issue. Having everything you could possibly need might mean your desk isn’t that tidy but it probably isn’t on par with the cluttered desks in your office. People will tend to think that you’re the mum or dad of the group so you might find that you end up taking a few colleagues under your wing. You also need to get used to being asked for random things throughout the day. Encroaching desks Everyone knows that you get a set amount of space in an office environment. For some, this just isn’t enough. Encroachers are usually seen as the worst type of colleague, especially if you’re sat next to one. No matter how much space they have, they’ll slowly start to move into yours and before you know it, they’ve claimed part of your desk or are storing stuff underneath it. They may claim they don’t realise they’re doing it, but they definitely do. It’’s often the case that encroachers are quite territorial and they don’t want someone taking over their space, so they spread out as much as possible. It’s really all about comfort, as they want to make sure they have the right amount of space to feel comfortable and not closed in. If you’re an encroacher, you definitely want to make sure you’re aware of other people’s boundaries so you stop overstepping them. Encourage people to call you out and then you’ll seem a lot more approachable and will probably get fewer people moaning about your desk-stealing ways.