Hint: It’s not by having your desk look like the one above.
If there is one thing that I have learned over the years it is perception is reality and first impressions mean everything. You may not think your desk at work tells your story to your peers but it does. Below are five ways that your desk can impress your boss and peers.
1. Declutter / clean excess paper off your desk
Having too much loose paper on your desk shows that you may be unorganized and lazy. I once worked with a guy that had his entire office filled with stacks of paper. He even had a storage room at another building with stacks of paper. It just looks bad. It also shows that you are unable to keep up with current technology. Most all business is done through digital mediums and you do not need to print every email that you ever get. So bottom line is keep your desk organized and have minimal loose paper on it.
2. But don’t de-paper your desk completely
Like I said in the above, clean excess paper off of your desk, but you don’t want to remove all off your desk. Having a completely paper free desk can also send a negative vibe to your boss or peers. It sends a message that you don’t work or have too free much time on your hands to completely file or dispose all of your paperwork. It is important to find a good balance of paperwork on your desk. I usually just had one stack on my desk and I would file from the bottom every other day or so.
3. Show your personality by decorating
It has been proven through research that you work better in an environment that is personalized or decorated. It shows that you are comfortable where you work and are committed to staying where you are. It is good to limit the decorative items to about seven. Too many items will just clutter your workspace.
4. Have a talking piece
Having a talking piece is a good way to strike up a conversation with your boss and peers. A talking piece can be anything from your diploma, military memorabilia, sports prints, etc. As a DoD contractor most of my co-workers are prior service so military memorabilia is always a way to get your peers into a conversation because everyone has a story to tell about when they were in the Service.
5. Hide your lunch
Six out of 10 people eat lunch at their desk. I have eaten lunch at my desk almost everyday for the last seven years. It is always good practice to clean up and throw your trash away as soon as your done eating. It is embarrassing to your boss if he brings a customer in your office to talk to you and you have an hour old browned apple sitting on your desk. It just looks bad. Just throw away all trash and hide your containers under your desk or put them in your car.
Thank you again for reading. Please leave a comment below if you have anything to add.