Narcissists are typically good freaks

Desk types: do you recognize yourself?

Order is half of life. It is difficult to say where this myth comes from. Especially since this immediately raises the question of the other, possibly better half. But for free. At least one thing is certain: bosses love tidy offices and desks. Four out of five managers prefer employees with tidy desks, according to a survey by British psychologist Cary Cooper. The writing surface is always also a projection surface: many associate a cluttered desk with a desolate personality. Most of it is nonsense, there are clichés about it. Just like the peculiarity of being persistent and influencing your career ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

I have a room: what the desk reveals

Of the around 17 million people who work in an office in Germany, a good 33 percent live in a single office, 27 percent share the work space with another colleague, but the majority of around 40 percent sit in a multi-person or open-plan office.

One would think that it is relatively uniform: one size, one size fits all, one size fits all. Think. Researchers at Eastern Kentucky University once found that nearly 90 percent of American workers personalize their offices. No comparable studies are available for Germany, but the result is likely to be similar.

There is a simple psychological effect behind this: offices, like desks, are small private reserves, territories that we mark with framed pictures of the family, holiday souvenirs, awards, objets d'art, books or plants.

The interesting thing about it: They not only mark occupied space - they also reveal a lot about the resident, their preferences, status, and working methods. Or what do you think the boss will think of someone who finds a needle-riddled voodoo doll in their room that looks suspiciously like the boss? Just.

The localized attention center of every office is of course the desk. British behavioral psychologist Donna Dawson has inspected hundreds of offices and desks over the course of her career and diagnosed that the majority can be condensed into six typical worktop and personality types.

The exciting task for you now is to find out:

What type of desk are you?

The functional area

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This workplace is tidy, organized and highly functional. Mousepad, pen and calendar are neatly arranged and ergonomically oriented. Here one cog engages the other. A control freak lives here, one would think. Not correct. For Dawson, these are rather signals for a resident with severe mood swings. Someone who wants to be needed and noticed - and who is recommended as a talent for organization. So someone lives here who is happy to help if you ask him. Such a guy of course still works in a structured and efficient way, always appears on time, cultivates his hobbies and has a fulfilling private life.

The surface chaos

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This desk felon would like to be tidier, more organized - but doesn't make it. The chaos here leads a kind of life of its own with an unconditional will to survive. The result is a superficial hubbub, but with a system. Nothing gets lost here. Hundreds of newspaper snippets and memos, the three coffee cups that could have used a flush long ago, and the shifting dunes made of files indicate a lovable workoholic who always seems a bit stressed - not least because he prefers a chat with his colleagues to the long overdue cleanup . This guy can be used flexibly and has a brilliant head for brainstorming.

The display table

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Here, too, mountains of paper, stacks of books and memos pile up. However, consciously to indicate versatility and a broad, creative interest. Modern technology can only be found here when the devices are hip and considered trendy. This type of desk sees itself as a creative mind, he thinks laterally and in large visions. On the other hand, he doesn't value details at all. Somebody like that likes to neglect his duty of care.

The trophy table

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The table is littered with personal items and memories: family photos, vacation pictures, children's drawings, customer gifts. The arrangement often continues on the walls and quite a few - especially women - even tend to drape cosmetics on their desk, such as hand creams or vitamin pills. Almost obligatory: the bottle of still water and other refreshers such as room fragrances. Anyone who maintains such a working environment needs a lot of attention and constant entertainment on the job, otherwise boredom threatens - and they don't appreciate these guys at all. After all, you are sociable, but rarely discreet.

The plaque

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There is something clinical about this workspace and, above all, it represents the company this office worker works for. No personal touch, no furnishing frills, just pure functionality. Anyone who works here is probably wearing a professional mask. Hardly anyone knows the person behind it - and they have no plans to change that. Such types are usually nice, maintain basic contacts with their team, and go to lunch with them. But who they really are, what they think and want, remains their secret.

The representative board

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At first glance, this office looks cluttered or cramped. In fact, however, every object fulfills its purpose here: it should put the resident in a positive light. It is teeming with documents of past successes, exclusive trips and high-flying sporting events. It's a leader's table. Such types strive forward, want to achieve something, but then also show it and know that it is appreciated.


Despite all ideal typologies - there are of course numerous mixed forms and weaker forms of individual desk types. Nevertheless, it is worth taking a look at your own worktop or that of your colleague - maybe you will discover a completely new side of him ...

6 bad habits at the desk

Humans are creatures of habits. Even at his desk, it is very difficult for him to put down his cherished manners. Although sometimes they are not good for him at all.

Some of the seven worst habits at the desk, however, we can't get rid of, even if we wanted to. But mitigate. We'll show you how to do it ...

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