Colorado Biz (I know, you are all so surprised!!) regarding messy work environments. The conclusion from the article is "High quality work is impossible in a sloppy environment". The rest of the article can be view here! Here are my favorite points and my commentary:
"Somehow a myth was created that highly creative people should be permitted to exist in messy environments because their thought processes are such that they can’t be bothered with mundane tasks such as cleaning up after themselves. I call this a myth because, while there are clearly exceptions, they are few and far between."
When I look at the messy desks of co-workers, I think there is a direct correlation between their messy desk and the work they put out. The work I have seen from the messy-deskers is usually sloppy, incomplete and lacking professionalism. I have seen food stains, coffee marks, ink blots, etc on their work. I don't think that this shows pride in the work that they do or the things they output.
I am not saying that someone with a messy desk can't be professional employee that puts pride in their work, its just rare! The type of messy I am taking about is not the piles of paper or filing that needs to be done or the inbox that is spilling out, I am taking about finding remands of lunch from a couple weeks ago or an apple that has started to rot.
I find that with these people I need to literally "clean up" after them. Re-print documents, re-type things, cover up for them so the company looks "good" or even find the hidden apple this is stinking up the office at their desk when they are on vacation. It's not a healthy working environment for anyone involved!
"What’s the difference? When working with a group of people, the environment must be conducive to effective teamwork and clear thinking. A leader must create and maintain an environment in which success can happen. Individual brilliance may succeed in a messy environment, but effective teamwork requires organized surroundings. Therefore, unless you are a genius who commands hushed audiences, clean up after yourself!"