Your desk image is where it's at


You’d probably think twice about turning up to the office looking messy, untidy, and altogether unclean -- at least we hope you would -- but are you as conscientious when it comes to your desk?

Your desk can say as much about you as the way that you dress: towers of paperwork, scatterings of pens, post-its and gadgets, and a surface adorned with dirty dishes all scream ‘disorganised’ in the best instance, and ‘couldn’t care less’ in the worst.

Our own research shows that 26% of employees think it’s completely unacceptable to have an untidy desk -- a view shared by 21% of employers. And while some employers may be too preoccupied with their mounting workloads to do anything about untidy workspaces, when they need help with an important project -- one that calls for a certain level of organisation -- the person with a bomb site for a desk is probably the least likely to be called on.

Now, we all know that a clean and tidy desk doesn’t necessarily equate to productivity, but it undeniably sends a message that the person sitting behind it wants to be taken seriously. It gives the impression that you’re on top of your work and taking things in your stride -- bravo.

Your desk personality

Work out what message you’re sending to the rest of the office by pinpointing your very own desk style:

  • Organised: A clear and organised desk suggests that you’re conscientious, prefer to focus on one thing at a time, and are altogether well organised yourself.
  • Motivational: If you’re surrounded by project charts or targets, you’re probably motivated by achievements and goals.
  • Personable: If you’ve got photos of family and friends on your desk, you’re likely to be a people person, motivated by relationships in and out work.
  • Fun: If you’ve got calendars or screen savers showing exotic places and tropical beaches, you’re probably focused on the fun factor. In work, this could translate into a penchant for meeting clients over lunch at nice restaurants.
  • Trendsetter: If you’ve got an Apple Mac because you ‘like the way it looks’ (and if so, lucky you), or your desk is adorned with tasteful objects, you’re more likely to be motivated by the culture and surroundings of your office.
  • Meek and mild: An office desk without personal bits and pieces is usually home to someone a tad introverted. You might even use files and folders as a barrier around yourself and your work.
  • Extrovert: If you’re an extrovert, your desk probably showcases your personality; be that with novelty calendars or desk top toys that act as a talking point.
  • Flexible: If your desk is impulsively ordered, you’re likely to be flexible and creative, good at multi tasking, and able to change between different tasks quickly and easily.

Of course everyone has their own way of organising the space around them, and it’s incredibly important to feel comfortable in your own workspace, but whether you’re an admin assistant or hiring manager it’s worth thinking about your desk image.

Even if rows of carefully labelled folders leave you running for the hills, you can still arrange your desk to show how professional you are by taking dirty dishes to the kitchen, arranging loose papers into piles, and putting your stationary into a neat little holder.

Being ordered is the order of the day -- the order you choose is up to you. 

Download our ahead of the game research on your desk image.