Your office desk can tell people who you are.
You may not be aware of it but your workspace says a lot about who you are. The state of your desk significantly affects your co-workers’ and clients’ perception about your personality and work ethics. So, what do people really think when they see your desk? Here is a quick guide that can help you understand what your belongings are saying about you.
Family photos. Posting snapshots of your kids on your bulletin board gives an impression that you are a person who is mostly driven by your heart and values. While some people may get the impression that you are always yearning for quitting time to come sooner, you can also be a great team player.
Inspirational quotes. People who post motivational quotes in their workspace are extremely creative. However, while this can provide encouragement and uplift people’s moods (both yours and others), peppering your walls with quotes can be distracting. It can even be offending in some cases since some people may get the idea that you are implying something, even if you are not. Worse, it may even lead people to think that you are neurotic. To avoid sending a negative message, try keeping the number of quotes on your walls to a minimum.
Travel mementos. Displaying distinctive keepsakes such unusual art pieces from your travels can give the impression that you are open-minded and welcome new ideas and experiences.
Pictures and artifacts from your hobby. While these items may be good conversation starters, covering every inch of your workspace with pictures and artifacts from your hobby can give the impression that you are constantly daydreaming about it. Worse, it can even lead people to believe that you are not really serious about your work.
Name plaque. If your name plaque just indicates your first name, people will see you as an approachable person. A name plaque which indicates your formal title indicates that you demand respect.
In general, people with inviting office spaces complete with comfortable office chairs and a full candy dish are more social and approachable. Those with organized workspaces are more dependable and tend to get their work done in a timely manner while having a messy desk can give the impression that you are disorganized, inconsiderate and defy convention.
If you think that a messy workplace sends a bad vibe, a sterile and barren desk can do more damage to your reputation in the office. It can give the impression that you are unapproachable and are hesitant to get comfortable since all you really want to do is leave your job.