The state of our workspace is actually a pretty big deal, considering most of us spend the majority of our active day at the office. Going beyond enhanced productivity that comes with an organised desk, your workspace also affects how colleagues perceive you. Regardless of whether you intended for that obscene birthday gag gift to end up on your desk, people do judge you based on the items and presentation. We're listing some general assumptions in the workspace territory, and how you can best present your professional and personal self
About 57% of office workers judge their colleagues based on the state of their desk, and around the same proportion have at one point or another been "appalled" by what they've seen. In relation, 90% of office workers claimed that a cluttered desk affects their productivity (The Muse). It's no wonder, considering the extra time needed to find needed documents or to-dos, and how it wreaks havoc on your ability to concentrate in general. While some people claim that messiness helps with creative thought, a papers piled up and food containers gives the impression that you're disagreeable and inconsiderate. On the other hand, an organised desk says conscientious and agreeable. But this doesn't necessarily mean that minimalist is best. Bare minimum desks can make you seem distant or even neurotic.
Are you, or do you want to be, the social butterfly of the office? An eclectic desk could help that along. Comfortable, an open door, and snacks is welcoming - giving off an aura of openness. If you're looking to be an inviting member of the team, having a workspace that's conducive to collaboration is key. Having personal knick-knacks such as photos, or toys that relate to your interests & hobbies also shows that you're an extroverted person, who's likely to seek new experiences. Companies that want their employees to showcase their personalities sometimes use the workspace as a way to encourage that. For example, Etsy gives each employee US$100 to personalise and decorate their desk (Entrepreneur). Let us know in the comments how accurate (or inaccurate) these are, and let us know what your workspace looks like!
Welcome back to Mandy's In-House Notes, a twice-monthly column touching on all things brand-building, entrepreneurship and female-empowerment related, from the mind of Mandy Pao.
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Cover image: Jezael Melgoza via Unsplash
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