Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

OCD* *That's Office Compulsive Disorder

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

OCD* *That's Office Compulsive Disorder

Article excerpt

Byline: Susannah Butter

HOW many piles of paper do you have on your desk? Do you gaze longingly at your colleague's clear workspace, wondering how they make it look as if no one actually sits there? It's time to sort it out. Bosses are watching and OCD is rife -- that's office compulsive disorder. The answer to a successful career lies on your desk.

"Clutter can harm your prospects," says Jayne Morris, resident life coach for NHS Online. Having more space on desks can increase productivity by up to 30 per cent, according to a survey commissioned by the National Association of Professional Organisers. Those at the top have clocked this and are changing the rules. At some fashion companies you're in trouble if there are more than six items on your desk. Here are London's most anal workplaces.

TATLER If your desk isn't clear at the end of the day you're in trouble at this society magazine. Editor Kate Reardon operates a strict tidy desk policy and admits she "takes great pleasure" in clear desks. They even have Tidy Friday, where everyone has to have a clear-out. Sometimes there are prizes for the clearest desk, like a box of chocolates or a trip to a spa.

In-trays are banned. "Receptacles encourage hoarding," says Reardon. "I'm waging a campaign against pencil pots too. It's like inbox management. If you've got so much stuff there, it's impossible to see what's relevant. I don't believe people who say they know where everything is." She would like to get the items on her desk down to three -- computer, phone and a cup of tea.

RESOURCE SOLUTIONS Don't leave your shoes under your desk at this recruitment company. If found they will be confiscated and you'll have to shamefacedly go collect them from HR. The fearsome office facilities team patrol the office every month or so and encourage people to throw things away. Sometimes an email is sent round rating all departments and embarrassing anyone who lets the side down. Resolve Solutions justifies this regime by saying it recently moved to a modern building in Covent Garden and wants to keep it looking good.

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT HEADQUARTERS Political rivals quip that the desks at Nick Clegg HQ are as empty as Lib-Dem policies. …

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