That Messy Desk Could Cost You a Promotion

You may think that a messy desk is the sign of a first-class intellect, but your boss isn’t buying it.

Staffing firm OfficeTeam interviewed senior managers, and more than half of (54 percent) of them said the most distracting or annoying aspect of employee workspaces is sloppiness or disorganization.

This beat out displaying inappropriate or offensive photos or phrases and having too many knickknacks or decorations.

Just 10% of bosses were annoyed when employees had a workspace that was too clean or bare.

“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.”

OfficeTeam offers these three tips for creating a workspace that leaves a good impression:

  • 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 knickknacks 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.

Time to clean up your act, soldier – your next promotion may depend on it.

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