According to a recent study featured on TIME, your office desk can say a lot about you and the kind of work that you produce.

In a series of experiments, researchers asked two sets of participants to sit in front of either a messy desk or a neat one. In the first trial, the subjects were made to work before being asked to pick between an apple and a chocolate bar. In the second trial, they were asked to think of new things to do with a ping-pong ball. In the third trial, they were asked whether they wanted a vitamin boost in their smoothie and whether they wanted it to be “classic” or “new.”

Based on the results, it appears that work environment had a profound effect on the participants’ behavior. Those who sat in front of the clean desks picked the healthy apple over the decadent chocolate, chose the "classic" vitamin boost over the "new" one, and exuded a more organized and disciplined vibe. On the other hand, those who sat in front of the messy desks chose the opposite, but seemingly had more creative ways of using a ping-pong ball.

Researchers believe that the environment you work in may affect your way of thinking--something that you can use it to your advantage. Do you need to fix your budget? Then make sure to work in a clean area so your thoughts can reflect organization. Do you need to come up of a way to creatively present a project? Then stay in a place with a lot of items that can promote creativity and out-of-the box thinking. Properly utilizing your environment may not only increase your productivity, but also give you better results than you expected.


(Photo by Scott via Flickr Creative Commons)

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