Punching bag, rock collection among unusual objects seen at work: Survey

Live rat, pig, tree frog also on list

Many professionals try to make themselves at home at the office, but some take the concept to an extreme, according to a survey from the Creative Group, a specialized staffing service.

When about 750 advertising and marketing executives were asked to describe the strangest or most surprising items they have seen on an employee's desk or in her workspace, their responses included:

•a live pig

•a punching bag

•a mermaid sculpture

•a pair of men's underwear

•a rock collection

•a hair dryer

•a drawer full of clothes.

As for decor, some of the more unusual examples included a wall of empty soda cans, a jar of soda pop tabs, a desk full of paper airplanes and "so many paper dolls that you can't see anything else." Other more sombre accessories included a flowerpot shaped like a skull, a marble tombstone, a bottle of vodka and a bottle opener in the shape of an eye: “When you open a beverage, it appears to be crying."

Some workers, according to the survey, have even showed up to work with these “companions”:

•Siamese fighting fish

•a large, black rat

•a tree frog

•a stuffed, pink gorilla

•a bug-eating plant.

"Office design can have a big impact on an employee's productivity," said Alicia Brum, branch manager of the Creative Group. "Since many creative jobs entail coming up with new ideas, it's common for these individuals to surround themselves with items they find inspiring. However, professionals must always keep their company culture and colleagues in mind when decorating their work area, and avoid showing anything that may be offensive or distracting to others."

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