This is yet another one of the 6 provocations used by Herman Miller to help people think about “The Living Office”.
Agile working policies mean that many people no longer own desks, which has led to the adoption of clean desk policies. Many of these are adhered to strictly, with anything left on the desk being gathered up, put into black bags and dumped somewhere else in the building.
Can we really expect perfection though? I have read articles for and against keeping a tidy desk. Inspiration comes to us in different ways, for some it is from a calm, clean organised space. For others it is a chaotic, unstructured, messy space. So, is there a danger of stifling someone’s creativity, or suppressing their authenticity if we demand a perfectly tidy workplace?
I will leave you with this quote from the Herman Miller website ; “Without the expectation of perfection, give people the tools, space, and freedom to pursue their work as it suits them best”
Will you allow your people to ‘make a beautiful mess’?