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PAs are self-confessed ‘neat freaks’

A neat freak's desk

Behind every good business is an administrative nerve centre – those individuals working hard to organise an organisation. From office managers and secretaries to support personnel and personal assistants, each play a vital role in helping businesses run as efficiently as possible.

In new research unveiled by Bankers Box® by Fellowes, 57% of administrative personnel surveyed were identified as showing distinct traits of a ‘Neat Freak’ when it came to filing habits at work and at home.

With the highest number of these ‘Neat Freaks’ working in the South East (63%) and in the accountancy sector, (16%) these employees are most likely to be found sat at their desk with a plentiful supply of cleaning wipes while ensuring everything has a place and everything is in its place, noticing even the slightest movement of a stapler.

Bankers Box® partnered with business psychology experts at the University of Leeds in 2015 to explore the UK’s love of filing and understand better what drives the way employees file. The project identified four distinct filing ‘typologies’: ‘The Architect’, ‘The Boffin’, ‘The Nester’ and ‘The Neat Freak’.

The second most popular ‘Pro-Filer’ typology to fall out of the recent survey was The ‘Architect’, with 17% of respondents displaying the tell-tale traits, while ‘The Boffin’ accounted for the habits of 12% and ‘The Nester’ represented a further 12%.

The four typologies
The ‘Neat Freak’ has an enthusiastic approach to maintaining order and requires a storage solution to suit.
The ‘Architect’ has a piling habit to help keep important documents to hand, making it easier to retrieve those pieces of frequently needed information.
The ‘Boffin’ is superbly arranged, professional and extremely methodical – every file is colour-coded, labelled and referenced.
The ‘Nester’ is professional and organised, yet often feels swamped by paperwork and as a result finds it difficult to keep up with all documents that come their way

The research also highlighted that a tidy desk equals a tidy mind for many, with 41% of survey respondents adhering to a daily ritual of tidying their workspace and an eager 11% even admitting to a quick sweep every hour.

Experience counts for a lot, with 27% of respondents having established 20 years of service in helping businesses run more efficiently, but when asked what would be most useful by way of improving their workspace, 47% admitted a combination of more storage and an improved filing system would better their organisation.

The research unveiled that at home the scenarios that are most annoying are the washing up not having been done (54%) and someone else has already “tidied” away those things you haven’t finished using (39%).

With 58% of respondents admitting their attitude to storage and filing is “I’ll keep it and store it, just in case,” it’s apparent filing is still a huge part of office and home life.