How Tidy Should Your Work Desk Be?

How Tidy Should Your Work Desk Be?

Mike Tyson
Jun 10, 2011

For those of us who work in an office environment, it's likely we all have a personal desk space that we inhabit. This area, whether we like it or not, is a direct representation of who we are and how we work. Dedicating some thought to its presentation would probably be a good idea. But how do you keep your space day to day? We want to know whether you think a neat and tidy office space is best or if your desk should have papers strewn about, as if you were deep in concentration and work.

There are pros and cons to each approach. Which do we think is better? We're partial to the neat and tidy spaces because it helps us think and process our workload once it does arrive. But here is a quick breakdown of how we think each space could come off to your coworkers and superiors.

Neat & Tidy:
+ You're a clean individual
+ You take pride in your desk's appearance
+ Detail-oriented
+ Responsible and orderly
- You're not busy and have a lot of freetime
- Too orderly to really get "down to business" when the workload comes

+ You're busy
+ Dedicated to job
+ Passionate, immersed in work
- Workaholic
- Unorganized
- Messy

What would you consider your desk? Are you careful to clean up at the end of a busy day or do you let the post-it notes, books, and paperwork stack up around you so your work is easy to see and be seen? And how do you think management reacts to such a desk? We want to hear your thoughts and impressions on this sensitive issue of personal space in the workplace!

(Images: Flickr members Jill Clardy and Josh Liba, licensed for use under Creative Commons)

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