More mess, less stress

September 29, 2000

Workplace clutter may be a sign of a happy office. Meredith Wells, a psychologist at Eastern Kentucky University, in the United States, has discovered meaning amid the personal items found on desks.

Her analysis, published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology, has revealed that women tend to choose items that express their emotions while men attempt to display their status within the company.

"Women tend to personalise with symbols of family, friends and petsI men tend to personalise with symbols of their achievements," she said.

The study supports the suggestion that personalisation is associated with job satisfaction.

Most content were those allowed to determine the look of their environment. Companies with lenient personalisation policies reported high levels of morale.

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