What is on Your Work Desk?

Nancy Anderson
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Controlling what finds its way to your work desk takes time and energy, but it's well worth the effort. A cluttered desk can sap your productivity, and certain items displayed on your desk space may reveal too much about your personal life to colleagues. Use this quick guide to decide what goes and what stays.

Bad: Inappropriate Documents

Legal paperwork scattered across your work desk is not only distracting — it conveys poor judgement. Many legal papers include confidential information, and leaving them out for co-workers to see can make you appear careless. You also want to avoid leaving your resume on your desk. Doing so informs the workplace that you're looking for a new job, potentially creating trust issues.

Good: A Desktop Planner

While online planners are useful, a desktop planner allows you to see meetings, appointments and other commitments any time you're at your work desk. You can also use a desktop calendar or a to-do list placed in a prominent location on your desk to help you say on track.

Bad: Lunch and Extra Sweets

Even if you're facing a tight deadline, resist the urge to enjoy your meal at your desk. Not only can the smell of your food distract co-workers, but changing your environment during the day, such as eating lunch outside, can boost productivity, according to Business Insider. Cookies and candy at your work desk are also a bad idea as you might easily become distracted by your work and eat too much.

Good: A Wireless Printer

Until the world goes entirely paperless, you still need a printer to get a physical copy of forms and documents. Instead of running to the office printer for every page, invest in a compact wireless printer that offers convenience without the clutter.

Bad: Personal Hygiene Products

Long work sprints may require you to brush your teeth in the office bathroom, but your toothbrushes, nail clippers and other hygiene items should be tucked in a drawer instead of lying on your work desk. Leaving these items for your managers and co-workers to see can make you appear less than professional.

Good: A Filing Folder

Paper can clutter up a desk quickly, so clear up your space and boost productivity by investing in a filing folder for your work desk. Organize your documents using labels or color-coded tabs to save time paging through papers, and take time at the end of each workday to stow new documents.

Bad: Political Pieces

Your beliefs are a part of who you are, but it's important to limit how much personal information you're allowing on your work desk. Keep political decor, flyers and other items at home to avoid tension and long-winded arguments with workmates who may feel differently.

Your work desk is both a partner in productivity and a reflection of you as a professional, so keep it under control to enjoy a more positive work experience. What are some other items that workers should or shouldn't keep at their desks? Share your thoughts below.


Photo courtesy of Czoborraul at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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