In the lexicon of cultural stereotypes, Germany is a country associated with thorough organisation and order – their Ordnung. And recent German research on office desks, tidy and otherwise, seems to affirm a German preoccupation with order.
A Spiegel Online article by Sebastian Knauer entitled “The Importance of Order: German Researchers Tackle Untidy Desks” describes recent academic and commercial studies in Germany on desks, orderly and otherwise.
According to academic researchers at the Stuttgart-based Fraunhofer Institute for Manufacturing Engineering and Automation, time wasted in a poorly organised office could cost businesses and organisations up to a third of annual working time. Furthermore, the Spiegel article reports, separate research by the German subsidiary of Staples found that CEOs see a direct correlation between order and productivity – our desks thus project an image of ourselves to our bosses whether we like it or not.
Getting us to tidy up our act, however, requires changing mindsets. Jürgen Kurz, managing director of the Giengen-based consultancy Tempus, which organizes seminars for efficient offices, sums up the situation nicely: “Nobody thinks they have time to tidy up. But somehow everyone finds time to look for things.”
Click here to read the original article.
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Need a bit of Teutonic order in your office?