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Slideshow: Even More Messy Desks

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ervin0072002
User Rank
Gold
Re: Impressive
ervin0072002   10/9/2012 9:57:05 AM
When I first got hired, we had a lot of messy desks with a lot of material. Their self-made excuse was they could find everything they needed and only went to the stock room very rarely. This way they saved time. Then I parked myself in the middle of the lab with a stop watch. It turned out that we spent less time going to the stock room then looking for anything in a messy desk. 3 weeks later and 5 boxes (5'x5'x5' boxes) of trash we actually have desk space to work on. Now we only order what we need. No searching as everything is ordered in Microsoft access. And you don't lose your current project to a trash avalanche.... Now I was lucky some one senior to me listened and agreed with throwing everything out. Later he forced everyone else to participate. To this day people still complain how they could find things in an instant before the cleanup. Junk that you will not use the next 6 months, 1 year, 2 years should not be saved but rather recycled. It should all be proportional to its value, size, and frequency of use.

Dave Palmer
User Rank
Platinum
Clean Desk Award
Dave Palmer   10/9/2012 10:25:21 AM
I recently won a "clean desk award" at work, which was a source of amusement to my co-workers, since, as a failure analyst, my desk is covered with broken parts. (Although it is nothing like the desks in this slideshow!)

On the other hand, there were no confidential documents on my desk, which is what the clean desk police were looking for.  Other co-workers, who have otherwise immaculate desks, were denied the prize because they had a phone list next to their phone -- apparently, our phone list is confidential.

The prize was a free lunch in the company cafeteria -- who says there's no such thing?  

sbepko
User Rank
Iron
Re: Bad timing
sbepko   10/9/2012 10:25:37 AM
NO RATINGS
If a clean desk is the sign of a clean mind, what is an empty desk the sign of...?

Electron Boy
User Rank
Iron
Re: Impressive
Electron Boy   10/9/2012 10:46:15 AM
NO RATINGS
I think I see the fish on the printer.

ervin0072002
User Rank
Gold
Re: Bad timing
ervin0072002   10/9/2012 10:50:07 AM
NO RATINGS
An empty desk is a sign of a completed project.

ChasChas
User Rank
Gold
Chicken or the Egg
ChasChas   10/9/2012 11:14:31 AM
NO RATINGS
Did shame turn to pride or pride turn to shame?

A celebration of our human part.

Jon Titus
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Bad timing
Jon Titus   10/9/2012 11:25:26 AM
An empty desk is a sign of someone who got laid off.

rebowker
User Rank
Iron
"Clean up, clean up, everybody everywhere..."
rebowker   10/9/2012 11:55:31 AM
NO RATINGS
My take is this: there is a messy desk, and then there is a messy desk. One messy desk is piled with data from past projects, white papers, spec sheets, etc., basically a free air open-looped file cabinet. That is geniune messy. In another blog post I stated messy desk vs clean desk are two different information management strategies. In the end the benchmark is how much time it takes to find whatever is being looked for. THEN there is a messy desk. That just needs to be cleaned up. I'm sorry, I see that coke cans and serpentine tangled phone cords are not included in the true spirit of the open-looped free air information management style of our revered engineering forefathers.

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Bad timing
Ann R. Thryft   10/9/2012 12:30:22 PM
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Voigt's "workspace" is unbelievable. I guess it could be worse--there are actual aisles between the piles--but doesn't it take at least as much time to find stuff as it does to work? Aside from that lost bill, I eventually became a neatnik in my office, workshop, and kitchen because I hated having an inspiration and then not being able to do it for want of finding the tools. By the time I found the tools/backup info/whatever the inspiration might have disappeared and I was an unhappy, frustrated non-creator.

78RPM
User Rank
Gold
Re: Bad timing
78RPM   10/9/2012 12:57:55 PM
NO RATINGS
I used to have a filing system: "Newest on the top; oldest on the bottom." Then our company adopted a clean desk policy -- for security of intellectual property. I got organized and cleaned up my act and found that I liked it. I adopted a new policy of tearing up failed experiments. If I wanted to keep an article I tore it out and filed it where I would use it instead of keeping the whole magazine.

Engineers are lucky not to have to abide by HIPAA confidentiality law that must be observed by clinics and hospitals. If they work with such clients they must understand their role in keeping confidential info locked up.

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