If you're often mortified by the state of your office workspace, we're here to tell you that your messiness is actually a sign of intelligence and creativity.
According to researchers at the University of Minnesota, those who opt to work at a desk littered with papers and cups are often more creative, productive and precise.
Testing the hypothesis that there is value to be found in a chaotic workspace, researchers recruited participants and requested that they complete questionnaires in a variety of different work environments.
Some tended to the task in well-ordered office while others did so in a messy office, and findings indicated that those who completed the task in the messy offices came up with more creative and interesting ideas than those in the cleaner space.
Commenting on the findings, psychological scientist Kathleen Vohs said: "Prior work has found that a clean setting leads people to do good things: Not engage in crime, not litter, and show more generosity,” .
“We found, however, that you can get really valuable outcomes from being in a messy setting," she added. "Being in a messy room led to something that firms, industries, and societies want more of: Creativity."
And if you're wondering whether researchers have an insight into why a messy room sparks the imagination, they do.
"Disorderly environments seem to inspire breaking free of tradition, which can produce fresh insights,” Kathleen reasoned. "Orderly environments, in contrast, encourage convention and playing it safe."
The findings have been published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.