Not enough space? Or, too much stuff? It’s one of those hypothetical questions that maybe doesn’t have an answer. One thing’s for sure: our desk and—if we have one—office can get messy fast.
Have you ever walked up to your desk and thought, “I wonder what people think this says about me?” The way you keep your desk and surrounding area has a lot to say. We pick certain décor for our homes. The way we arrange our office spaces gives insight into our attitude, values, and goals. Here’s what your desk and office or cubicle might be saying about you.
I Want You to Think I’m Dependable (Even If I’m Not)
Piles of paper stacked nicely—if there are any papers at all. Pens and pencils are collected in a container, or hidden away. Organized desks and office areas communicate a desire to be conscientious. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you are task-oriented and reliable, but you keep your desk that way to communicate it’s your desire.
Here’s what can give you away if your impeccably clean desk doesn’t really match your organizational skills: your desk calendar. Many people still use these, even if it’s just as a desk mat. Make sure it’s showing the right month.
Don’t despair if your desk is the poster child for utter chaos. Multiple scientific studies show that this is a sign of creativity. You probably know where everything is, anyway. Just be aware that others may look at your managed chaos and incorrectly infer that you possess similar organizational skills.
I Want You to See Me as Creative and Flexible
The mini statue of, well… nobody’s really sure what it is that you keep on your desk, along with the collection of photos of dogs wearing clown suits you’ve got up on the cubicle wall telegraph the message to others in your office that you embrace new experiences and ideas. Yeah, you’re one of those creative types.
Companies known for innovative products and services often go out of their ways to foster funky office décor. A stroll through the Etsy corporate office area is the perfect example. Each new employee is given a site credit to use to decorate their desks.
I Want You to Count On Me As a Team Player
We’ve all strolled through that one airport store full of posters and desk paraphernalia with inspirational sayings while we waited for a delayed departure. Here’s an eye-opener if this is the main theme of your office décor. You’ve got the classic Type A personality—nothing wrong with that.
Psychologists tell us, however, that all those inspirational statements are simply a way of calming anxiety. In other words, they’re communicating to coworkers that you’re, well…neurotic.
Don’t be too quick to find that objectionable. Being labeled as neurotic has gotten out of hand. Sure, it can refer to mental illness, but it can also mean just a strong sense of anxiety or obsession. These are desirable qualities for success in the workplace, so it’s entirely possible that somebody just two cubicles away has that same inspirational poster up on their wall, too.
I Want You to Give Me a Promotion
If your office has a door, but you never close it, you might also have transformed your working area into a cozy and welcoming space with comfortable chairs for visitors. And yes, an always freshly filled candy jar. Please, help yourself!
These are physical manifestations of your sociability. You prefer the constant flow of visitors because it communicates that you’re approachable and trusted. And imminently promotable.
Regardless of what your desk and office/cubicle area says about you—or what you hope it says—there are a few things you can do to regain that average hour CNN Money say we each lose daily due to disorganization.
- A computer monitor is a mainstay of today’s office desk. Keep it directly in front of you—not off to one side—and about 17 inches away from your body, at eye-level.
- Are you right-handed? Move your phone and the things you most frequently use to that side of your desk. Reaching across to your non-dominant side can cause a break in concentration.
- Turn off your email notifications. If the beep or the flash pulls you away from something you’re doing, you’re not managing your email—your email is managing you.
Organization is a personal thing. What works for one person can make someone else go crazy. There are things, though that all of us find useful and valuable in helping us keep track of things. Many of those products are the things we specialize in manufacturing.