Whether it be a hungry hoarder or a plant pruner, UK workplaces are full of interesting desk personas that we can associate our colleagues with, and many of them are essential to a productive workplace.
Workplaces are full of different people from all walks of life. So, it comes as no surprise the diverse range of desk persona’s on show in UK workplaces. A person’s desk tells you a lot about them, and our workplaces are full of recognisable persona’s that every office seems to have, whether it be the cherished chemist who always has a healthy stock of medication for ailing staff or the mega minimalist who likes nothing but their keyboard and monitor on show. Scroll down to find out Blinds Hut’s 6 favourite desk persona’s and how they contribute to the workplace, for the better or worse.
The Plant Pruner
The office Plant Pruner loves decorating their desk with their favourite cacti, orchids and ferns. It gives their office a fresh and natural vibe that everyone can enjoy. However, a water spill is never far away as they attempt to water their plants, with the spillage potentially creeping over the great divide onto your desk. According to research, there are several benefits of having plants nearby, both at home and at work. Plants have been shown to increase productivity by 20 – 45% throughout the day, reduce stress and absence rates while also making the air around the office cleaner. It’s probably worth putting up with a few water spillages for the benefits that plants bring you and your office!
The Hungry Hoarder
The Hungry Hoarder is someone who both loves to hoard office items such as pens, rulers or notepads, but also snacks at their desk and leaves the remains on show for days to come, collecting dust and making their desk look untidy. Food psychologist Christy Fergusson says that there are several ways that eating at your desk can be detrimental to your health and your colleagues around you. Firstly, you are more likely to overeat due to be being distracted with work at your desk. Also, it will leave you feeling stressed and overwhelmed as you haven’t had time for a ‘brain break’ and enjoyed any fresh air for an entire workday. A cluttered work desk can also impede your productivity as it may be difficult to quickly locate the things you need.
The Mega Minimalist
The Mega Minimalist does minimalism in a mega way. They like to keep the smallest amount of objects within their workspace, and there have been several studies that have shown that this is the optimum state to work in. Research in 2017 showed that 7 out of 10 UK workers feel stressed by cluttered surroundings, meanwhile two-thirds said that they are more productive when they are surrounded by less clutter. There are several things you can try in order to keep your work desk as minimalist as possible. Firstly, go digital. Is there really any need to use post-it notes or paper to take notes nowadays? Try switching to virtual sticky notes, or using your mobile to take notes in meetings to avoid notebooks or scraps of paper mounting up on your desk. Also, invest in a good storage solution in which you can remove your important items from your desk to save space and store them securely away.
The Freezing Friend
The Freezing Friend is a colleague at work who always seems to be cold, no matter what temperature it is in the office. They keep a well-stocked supply of jumpers, throws and woollies to protect against the elements. The fan is the Freezing Friend’s natural enemy, and they do everything to try and avoid sitting next to a colleague who likes to keep one on their desk, especially when they insist on using it during the cold winter months. The recommended guideline by the UK government when it comes to temperature in the workplace is that the minimum temperature should be at least 16°C, however if your work involves rigorous physical effort, the temperature should be at closer to 13°C. Despite this, in many workplaces, this doesn’t seem to be the case as colleagues constantly battle over the thermostat day in, day out.
The Family Flaunter
We’ve all been in a situation where a colleague has shown photos of their children, nieces or nephews to you while talking about their first words, the first time they walked or their first day at school. One or two photos’ is acceptable, but anything more than that and they could be a Family Flaunter! The Family Flaunter doesn’t usually realise that they’re flaunting and are just proud of their infant's achievements. However, the rest of us tend to just want to get away from the situation as quickly as possible, due to it being the third time that week we’ve been shown the same photo. Despite this, Kimberly Elsbach, a professor of organisational behaviour says that personalisation in the workplace such as “personal artefacts, equipment, furniture and décor” makes it more likely that successful workgroups are formed, they’re content and able to work together. So, all that time spending looking at your colleagues family photo’s is actually good for you!
The Cherished Chemist
The Cherished Chemist supplies medication in the form of tablets, potions and bandages to the whole office, seemingly without ever running out. They like looking after their colleagues and are always ready to come to your aid with some handy plasters, bandages or cough medicine. Research by People HR showed earlier this year that almost 80% of Brits choose to go to work while unwell rather than call in sick, mainly due to fear of their boss not believing their sickness to be genuine, or a sense of guilt. The survey also found that almost a quarter of workers feel pressured into going into work sick by their boss. It’s no wonder that every workplace needs a Cherished Chemist.