How to Convince Your Colleague to Declutter That Desk

messy deskIf you’ve ever walked by a colleague’s messy desk, you’re not alone. You may simply look the other way but what happens when you share that workspace?

Per a piece in The Wall Street Journal, there are a few ways to tactfully deal with the mess which you have indirectly inherited.

Although some colleagues may chip in to hire a professional organizer as a present to the messy employee, that won’t necessarily do the trick. Per the piece, the owner of an organizing firm said that may just build resentment and “it won’t turn out well.”

A more subtle approach can occur when the manager takes on the issue. Sometimes managers may invite a professional organizer to conduct group training. This can particularly be helpful let’s say if you have to review product samples as part of your job and they simply manage to quickly accumulate.

Managers have to deal with another issue at times like when two employees fight with each other over a mess. In that instance, a professional organizer can help mediate so each person can understand each other a little bit better.

In one example in the piece, the disorganized worker learned to respect her colleague’s organizational skills and the neatnik volunteered to help keep their shared desk organized based on a plan they created together. They also created boundaries surrounding separate storage space.