Office Clutter: Comparing Lower and Upper-Level Employees on Work-related Criteria
Joseph R. Ferrari*, Helena L. Swanson, and Devki A. Patel
Office clutter might significantly impact productivity, yet no study examined workers differences across upper and lower employee status. The present study surveyed 202 U.S. on-site workers on work-related variables, including office clutter. Job classifications were aggregated, creating two groups: upper- and lower-level employees. A significant difference in office clutter impacted worker-levels: upper-level workers compared to lower-level workers had higher office clutter scores. Exploratory factor analysis created a two-factor solution (explaining 62.6% of the common variance): satisfaction/pleasure from one’s work and risk for work-related burnout/tension. There was a significant difference in office clutter perception: upper-level workers were significantly more likely to report clutter and being at risk for burnout/tension than lower-level workers. Office clutter significantly negatively predicted satisfaction with one’s job and positively related with risk for work-related burnout. Frequently reported office clutter items (in order of frequency) were paper, trash (e.g., used coffee cups), and office supplies.
Keywords: OFFICE CLUTTER; JOB CATEGORIES; WORKPLACE BURNOUT; ON-LINE SAMPLE
How to cite this article:
Joseph R. Ferrari, Helena L. Swan-son, and Devki A. Patel. Office Clutter: Comparing Lower and Upper-Level Employees on Work-related Criteria. International Journal of Psychological Research and Reviews, 2021; 4:46. DOI: 10.28933/ijprr-2020-12-1805
1. Blunt, A., & Pychyl, T. A. (1998). Volitional action and inaction in the lives of undergraduate students: state orientation, boredom and procrastination. Personality and Individual Differences, 24, 837–846.
2. Burnett, P, C,, Mann, L,, & Beswick, G, (1989), Validation of the Flinders Decision Making Questionnaire on course decision making by students, Australian Psychologist, 24, 285-292.
3. Britt, T.W. (1999). ‘Engaging the self in the field: Testing the Triangle Model of Responsibility’, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 25, 696–706
4. Britt, T. W., & Bliese, P. D. (2003). Testing the stress‐buffering effects of self-engagement among soldiers on a military operation. Journal of Personality, 71, 245-266.
5. Claessens, B., van Eerde, W., Rutte, C., & Roe, R. (2004). Planning behavior and perceived control of time at work. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25, 937 – 950.
6. Crum, K.P., & Ferrari, J.R., (2019a) Psychological home, clutter, and place attachment predicting life satis-faction among women of color: Home is beyond physical space. Journal of Contemporary Research in Social Sciences, 1, 87-96.
7. Crum, K.P., & Ferrari, J.R., (2019b) Toward an understanding of psychological home and clutter with emerging adults: Relationships over relics. North American Journal of Psychology, 21, 45-56.
8. Dao, T.N., & Ferrari, J.R. (2020). The negative side of office clutter: Impact of work-related well-being and job satisfaction. North American Journal of Psychology, 22, 397-410.
9. Effert, B., & Ferrari, J. R. (1989). Decisional procrastination: examining personality correlates. Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, 4, 151–156.
10. Ferguson, G.S. & Weisman, G.D. (1986). Alternative approaches to the assessment of employee satisfaction with the office environment. In J.D. Wineman, (Ed.), Behavior Issues in Office Design. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, pp. 85 – 108.
11. Ferrari, J. R. (1992). Procrastination in the workplace: Attributions for failure among individuals with similar behavioral tendencies. Personality and Individual Differences, 13, 315–319.
12. Ferrari, J. R. (1994). Dysfunctional procrastination and its relationship with self-esteem, interpersonal de-pendency, and self-defeating behaviors. Personality and Individual Differences, 15, 673–679.
13. Ferrari, J.R. (2010). Still procrastinating? The no regrets guide to getting it done. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
14. Ferrari, J. R., & Dovidio, J. (2000). Examining behavioral processes in indecision: decisional procrastination and decision-making style. Journal of Research in Personality, 34, 127–137.
15. Ferrari, J. R., & Dovidio, J. F. (2001). Behavioral information search by indecisives. Personality and Individual Differences, 30, 1113– 1123.
16. Ferrari, J. R., Johnson, J. L., & McCown, W. G. (Eds.). (1995). Procrastination and task avoidance: theory, re-search, and treatment. New York: Plenum Press.
17. Ferrari, J. R. & Roster, C.A. (2018). Delaying-to-dispose: An investigation of the relationship between pro-crastination types and clutter across generational cohorts. Current Psychology, 37, 426-431.
18. Ferrari, J.R., Roster, C.A., & Crum, K.P. (2018). Procrastination, and clutter: An ecological view of living with excessive stuff. Current Psychology, 37, 441-444.
19. Ferrari, J.R., Swanson, H.L., & Patel, D. (2021). The impact of office clutter on remote working: “I can’t work with all this stuff!” North American Journal of Psychology, 23, 155-171
20. Harriott, J. S., Ferrari, J. R., & Dovidio, J. F. (1996). Distractibility, daydreaming, and self-critical cognitions as determinants of indecision. Journal of Social Behavior & Personality, 11, 337-344.
21. House, J. S., Wells, J. A., Landerman, L. R., McMichael, A. J., & Kaplan, B. H. (1979). Occupational stress and health among factory workers. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 139-160.
22. Kahn, R., Wolfe, D., Quinn, R., Snoek, J., & Rosenthal, R. (1964). Organizational stress: Studies in role conflict and ambiguity. New York: Wiley & Sons.
23. Mann, L. (1982). Decision-making scale. In J.R. Ferrari, J. Johnson, & W. McCown (1995). Procrastination and task avoidance: Theory, research, and treatment. New York: Plenum Press.
24. Maslach, C., & Jackson, S. E. (1981). The measurement of experienced burnout. Journal of Occupational Be-havior, 2, 99-113.
25. Orellana-Damacela, L. E., Tindale, R. S., & Suarez-Balcazar, Y. (2000). The impact of self-discrepancies on people’s tendency to procrastinate. Journal of Personality and Social Behavior, 15, 225–238.
26. Reynolds, W. M. (1982). Development of reliable and valid short forms of the Marlowe-Crowne social desira-bility scale. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 38, 119–125.
27. Roster, C. A. (2001). Letting go: the process and meaning of dispossession in the lives of consumers. In M. C. Gilly & J. Meyers-Levy (Eds.), Advances in consumer research, 28 (pp. 425–430). Valdosta: Association for Consumer Research.
28. Roster, C. A. (2015). Help, I have too much stuff! Extreme possession attachment and professional organizers. Journal of Consumer Affairs, 49, 303–327.
29. Roster, C.A., & Ferrari, J.R. (2020a). Time is on my side, or is it? The influence of perceived control over time and procrastination on emotional exhaustion on the job. Behavioral Sciences, 10, 1-15.
30. Roster, C.A., & Ferrari, J.R. (2020b). Does work stress lead to office clutter, and how? Mediating influences of emotional exhaustion and indecision. Environment & Behavior, 52, 923-941.
31. Roster, C. A., Ferrari, J. R., & Jurkat, M. P. (2016). The dark side of home: assessing possession ‘clutter’ on subjective well-being. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 46, 32-41.
32. Schaufeli, W. B., & Bakker, A. B. (2004). Job demands, job resources, and their relationship with burnout and engagement: A multi‐sample study. Journal of Organizational Behavior: The International Journal of Industrial, Occupational and Organizational Psychology and Behavior, 25, 293-315.
33. Scher, S., & Ferrari, J. R. (2000). The recall of completed and non-completed tasks through daily logs to measure procrastination. Journal of Social Behavior & Personality, 15, 255–265.
34. Specter, M., & Ferrari, J. R. (2000). Toward an understanding of academic and nonacademic tasks procrasti-nated by students: the use of daily logs. Psychology in the Schools, 34, 359–366.
35. Spector, P. E., & Jex, S. M. (1998). Development of four self-report measures of job stressors and strain: Interpersonal conflict at work scale, organizational constraints scale, quantitative work load inventory, and physical symptoms inventory. Journal of Occupational Health Psychology, 3, 356-367.
36. Wells, M. (2000). Office clutter or meaningful personal displays: The role of office personalization in employee and organizational well-being. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 20, 239-255.
37. Wooten, N. R., Fakunmoju, S. B., Kim, H., & LeFevre, A. L. (2010). Factor structure of the job-related tension index among social workers. Research on Social Work Practice, 20, 74-86.