Friday Funny: What Does Your Messy Desk Say About You?

While a sloppy or disorganized desk can be annoying or distracting, a desk that’s too clean can also raise red flags.

Is your messy desk ready for a spring cleaning? It might be time to tidy up if you know what’s good for your career.

More than half of senior managers (54%) say the most distracting or annoying aspect of employee workspaces is sloppiness or disorganization, according to a recent survey by OfficeTeam.

messy deskHaving an overly neat desk doesn’t necessarily earn you bonus points either, however, so don’t go too far: 10% of managers surveyed acknowledged a desk that’s too clean or bare raises a red flag.

You might also want to be careful about what kind of knick knacks you’re displaying in your workspace. Fifteen percent of senior managers reported seeing an inappropriate or offensive item in an employee’s work area.

“Your workspace is a reflection of you. Keep it tidy and make sure there isn’t anything on display that might cause others to question your professionalism,” said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “Showing a little personality on your desk is fine, but don’t go overboard. You want to stand out for your positive attributes, not the messy state of your office or work area.”

Here are some tips for creating a workspace that leaves a good impression, thanks to OfficeTeam:

  • Clean up your act. Spend a few minutes every day clearing out old documents, food wrappers, and dirty dishes. Reduce clutter by organizing files or going paperless.
  • Keep it simple. It’s OK to have a few things in your workspace that are inspiring or fun to look at, but covering your desk with too many knick knacks can be an eyesore.
  • Don’t be offensive. Remember, items in your work area aren’t always for your eyes only. Ditch the political posters, risqué photos, and anything that might be too controversial.