So you’ve bagged the job, you’ve got your own computer, and 5 square feet of your very own space, to do with as you please. You’ll start off with the greatest of intentions, artistic books and fresh flowers perhaps, but sooner or later the real you seems to take over and you go one of two ways – the impossibly anal neat freak who doesn’t have a piece of paper out of place, or, like these guys below, it sort of becomes an overspill of stuff you keep in the cupboard you never use at home. But ‘What does this say about me?’ I hear you cry. We called in Psychologist Natalie Cawley to analyse the results…

desk 1

Desk 1 – Jonathan Coull, Art Director (31)

On first glance this person strikes you as someone who enjoys fun, fantasy and childlike frivolity highlighted by the giant lolly, Will Ferrell’s face looming and the Bond themed bottle. However, there may be a more sensible side lurking in there somewhere – note the height of the computer screen, perfect for ensuring good posture and reducing back strain, the bottle of still flavoured water – a healthy choice for rehydration, and the fluorescent yellow marker ready for taking notes.

desk 2

Desk 2 – Jenny Doré, Designer (27)

Judging from the birthday card and the screen saver this person seems like a very social person with relationships centered on fun and having a laugh. They also look like they don’t need too much courage (in the form of jaeger bombs) to be confident and show who they really are- note the giant NAKED sign. They go with the flow and do things on the spur of the moment, hence the ready-to-go bag complete with sparkly shoes that suggest eccentricity and ‘I don’t take myself too seriously.’

desk 3

Desk 3 – Jonathan Sever, Deputy Production Editor (36)

The bright colours and comedy characters placed around the screen would suggest this person has a sense of humour. The desk seems to be arranged to meet their every immediate need and provide them with the optimal working environment. They may possess a sense of urgency with the 2-in-1 shampoo just in case (clearly there is no time for 2 stages of hair cleaning) and the reminders of what look like computer short cuts on the screen. This person looks to be highly organised and motivated, with the colour coded chart placed at the very centre of the desk, the presence of the diary under the phone, the post-its decorating the screen and on closer inspection who is written on the top of the speed-dial list on the phone? ‘The Boss’.

Natalie Cawley is Assistant Psychologist at Oakfield Psychological Services ( and runs BPS approved Assistant Psychologist Training courses for Graduates. Visit or call 0161 928 3100 for details.