The Psychology Of Stacking

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 27th, 2010

Your desk may reveal more to your co-workers and boss than you may think. In fact, a recent survey conducted on behalf of a desktop solutions line suggests there are three distinct organizational types in the typical office-"pilers," "filers" and "tossers." Chances are, the person who has heaps of piles on the desk sits next to you, the obsessive filer sits across from you and the person who throws everything away is down the hall.

"The fact that you can never find anything on a co-worker's desk when you need it seems to suggest that everyone has their own system of organization," said Sharon Mann, organizational expert and president of the 100,000-member I Hate Filing Club. "This recent study supports this belief as it divides workers into three organizational types: pilers, filers and tossers. With pilers comprising the largest segment of the workforce, developing PileSmart-a line catering directly to pilers' needs-was simply the right solution."

According to Mann, your organizational style may actually reveal intimate details about your character. So, how do you stack up?

• Popular Pilers, the most common workplace personality (48 percent), may seem disorganized but have the ability to locate items quickly amongst their mountainous stacks. They are also more likely to own a dog and belong to the Democratic Party. Contrary to popular belief, professionals (including lawyers, doctors and accountants) are more than three times more likely to pile important papers on their desk than to file them away.

• Faithful Filers, at the opposite end of the spectrum, comprise more than one-third of the workforce and are known for appearing ultraorganized. Although they seem calm and collected, filers can sometimes act fussy and anxious. Filers are more likely to be uptight and most likely to identify with the Republican Party. For companionship, filers tend to flock toward birds.

• Tart Tossers, the risk takers of the bunch, making up 14 percent of the work world, throw away anything that adds clutter to their work area-even the important stuff. Free-spirited tossers are frequently unregistered voters. Additionally, they are more likely to own a cat, possibly because of their low-maintenance attitude.

"Whether a piler, filer or tosser, everyone can benefit from proper organization," added Mann. "The key to boosting organization in the long run is to set realistic goals, such as keeping 50 percent of your desk clear at all times. Also, choose smarter organizational solutions, such as those in the PileSmart product family, which allow users to 'pile smarter' without altering their organizational style."

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
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