How clean is your desk? Shocking new stats reveal workers waste nearly two days a year looking for paperwork

A new survey has revealed that us messy Brits spend 35.7 million days a year looking for missing paperwork among the piles of clutter on our desks

Too much paperwork on your desk? Is it taking you ages to look for files and documents? Chances are you are one of the 10% of workers who spend 30 minutes a week dealing with their messy desk.

A new survey conducted by technology firm Brother has revealed that we spend 35.7 million days a year looking for missing paperwork, that’s the equivalent of 1.5 days per worker.

But don’t worry – us ladies are in the minority – middle-aged men over 45 are officially the messiest when it comes to their work environment.

According to the stats, the average desk is strewn with mess weighing around a stone in total! That’s more than three times the weight of a fully grown cat (we love getting in those pet references)!

Apparently 13.4 per cent of male staff have actually been reprimanded for their untidiness. You can breathe a sign of relief, though, as only 6.9 per cent of us female employees have been told off for keeping a messy desk.

So, whether you work from home, or put in long hours at the office – it seems that one in ten of us have lost a new client, customer or contract as a result of the chaotic state of our work environments.

Almost half (46%) said they could not see the need for a tidy desk. But one in five admitted they had regularly lost important documents. Staff in retail and professional services have been found to be the messiest.

A third blame their clutter on a lack of time, with 20% saying that having a PA would help (you wish!).


But the good news is that the younger generation have been found to be the most organised – the survey revealed that 16 to 24-year-olds are the cleanest.

Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology at Lancaster University, believe younger people work on screen more easily, with less need for print outs.

He said: “Documentation in paper form will continue to exist whilst Baby Boomers and Generation X remain in the workforce, so there’s at least another two decades of well organised document management required.”

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So, if you’re currently sitting at a desk piled with print outs, then
shame on you. You’d better channel your inner Kim and Aggie and have a
clear out!

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