What Does Your Office Space Say About You?

Posted May 01, 2013 by

One way to make a good impression at work is to keep a clean and organized office space.  The following post shares some strange things that have been reportedly found at employees’ workspaces, plus tips on how to improve them.

Many professionals try to make themselves at home at the office, but some take the concept to an extreme. In a new survey from The Creative Group, advertising and marketing executives were asked to describe the strangest or most surprising item they have seen on an employee’s desk or in his or her workspace. Here are some of their responses:

“A live pig”
“A punching bag”
“A mermaid sculpture”
“A pair of men’s underwear”
“A rock collection”
“A hair dryer”
“A drawer full of clothes”

Creative professionals often have unique “tastes,” and these individuals were no exception as evidenced by the snacks found in their offices:

“A jar of pickled pigs’ feet”
“A pineapple”
“A rotten orange”
“My supervisor eats a banana every morning and leaves the peel on the floor until the end of his shift.”

Donna Farrugia

Donna Farrugia, Executive Director of The Creative Group

“Creative professionals like to surround themselves with things they find visually engaging or inspiring, but there can be too much of a good thing,” said Donna Farrugia, executive director of The Creative Group. “Displaying items that could cause people to question your professionalism can work against you.”

The following are four tips for creating a polished workspace that inspires creativity:

  1.     Play nice. Some companies have guidelines about what employees can and can’t display in their work area. If your employer has no formal policy, take cues from how colleagues have customized their offices.
  2.     Don’t offend. Your workspace is on display for your coworkers, clients and bosses to see, so keep that in mind when selecting decor. Avoid off-color calendars, political posters, racy photos and other items that can raise eyebrows.
  3.     Be a minimalist. Showcasing a few souvenirs or gizmos can provide the eye candy you need to stay inspired, but filling your work area with too many knickknacks can be distracting.
  4.     Keep it neat. Even if you’re highly effective and efficient in your role, a cluttered or messy workspace can give others the impression that you’re disorganized. Make time each week to clear your desk of old papers, food wrappers and additional debris so you have room for new projects and paperwork.
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