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What your cubicle / desk says about you

December 6, 2018

The average person in Britain spends 42 hours and 18 minutes a week at work, that’s more than any other country in Europe. It’s no wonder, that people like to make their workspace as comfortable as possible. 

How you organise your desk or cubicle says a lot about you, your personality, your work ethic and your attitude, and could mean that your colleagues and your superiors view you in a particular way.

“How we dress and how we maintain our workspace are ways we communicate with people,” says Michelle Augenstein, founder of professional-image consulting group Corner Office Image. “A messy desk is a barrier to communication.”

So, What does your workspace say about you? 

A family photo

Having a picture of loved ones on your desk shows that relationships and family are significant to you. This can reflect positively on how your co-workers view you, especially if you are in charge of people as it shows your human side, and lets colleagues get a glimpse into your personal life. A picture of your family can also be great motivation to work hard and make them proud.

However, it’s important to note the difference between having one or two pictures and a desk that’s littered with them which may indicate that you could be distracted by your family, or that you’d rather be somewhere else other than at work.

A lack of pictures is not necessarily a bad thing either. It suggests you value your privacy and that you can separate your professional life from your family life and prefer not to mix the two.

Piles of paper, books and general mess

A messy desk can signal disorganisation and may suggest that you aren’t keeping on top of your daily tasks.

However, there is some leeway, particularly for people in creative positions where a certain amount of organised chaos is permissible.

A desk piled high with paper and books may also indicate that the person doesn’t feel conventions and rules apply to them. This may translate as someone who is innovative and thinks outside the box, though could also point to someone who is rebellious and difficult to keep in line.

Whatever a messy desk says about your personality, keeping the workplace organised and de-cluttered is important for a smooth-running business, and as such it is vital to have a regular cleaning schedule in place to maintain a hygienic and clean environment, in which staff will feel motivated to work, leading to greater productivity. Read more about why a regular office cleaning routine is important for your workplace.

Trinkets, posters, or even cuddly toys…

While having items such as teddy bears or gizmos can make a desk colourful and fun, this can also be an indication of a certain level of immaturity and may demonstrate a person doesn’t take themselves or their work very seriously.

Posters can also be an indication that you aren’t taking your job as seriously as you should. Motivational quotes or beautiful landscapes could be inspiring, but jokes, or images that are nothing to do with work may suggest a lack of commitment to your role. The same goes for sarcastic coffee cups and novelty stationery which can point to someone who spends a little too much time trying to be ‘fun’ rather than getting on with their work.

Minimal items, extremely clean and highly organised

Many people enjoy a workspace that is clean and clutter free and pride themselves on knowing exactly where everything is. They have a place for everything from essential documents to rubber bands.

Naturally, a neat and ordered desk reflects a neat and ordered mind. A workspace that is efficiently organised suggests you like work to be a place that is ordered, you like clear direction and to know what is expected of you.

However, there can be a downside. Desks that are too minimalist may suggest that perhaps you aren’t as committed to your role as others, that you are absent a lot of the time and might not be inclined to stay as long as you should. If you are regarded as hyper-organised, you may also be thought of as resistant to change.

Dirty dishes, glasses, and rubbish

There is a difference between being messy and being dirty. The former may not be ideal in the workplace, but the latter is certainly regarded as unacceptable.

While it’s OK not to rush to wash your coffee cup the moment you have finished it, a desk strewn with litter, old food, and dirty dishes demonstrates a general lack of care, for your work and for what others think of you too.

Your commercial office cleaning company, like Swift Office Cleaning Services, will carry out office cleaning duties, such as daily office cleaning, including emptying bins, wiping down surfaces, use of antibacterial products to sanitise a desk and vacuuming the workspace. It is, however, the responsibility of the office worker to maintain an acceptable level of cleanliness throughout at their place of work. A colleague incapable of maintaining a clean desk should read our guide to good desk hygiene in your office.

The same applies to the office kitchen. There is a level of office kitchen etiquette that applies to keep a reasonable space for you and your colleagues to use and enjoy, hygienically, despite your professional office cleaning company carrying out the majority of kitchen cleaning duties.

View our expansive list of office cleaning services for more information.

Plants or flowers

A vase of fresh flowers or a vibrant plant can give any workspace an instant boost. It also creates a positive feeling that rubs off on you and your colleagues.

Fresh flowers suggest confidence and happiness. They indicate that you like your work and enjoy spending time there, therefore want to make the space you work in pleasant too.

Bringing a little nature into the office has a calming effect and shows that you care about making your office a nice place to be.

Physical security, including the appeal of a workspace, has been shown to impact employee wellbeing.  Therefore, making your desk or cubicle a comfortable and productive place to be is essential, and can directly affect how happy you feel at work and what your colleagues think of you too.

Swift Office Cleaning Services can help you maintain a pleasing, hygienic and orderly place to work. Our services include daily office cleaning, internal and external window cleaning, washroom cleaning, specialist office equipment cleaning, deep office cleans and many more commercial office cleaning services.

Get In Touch with Office Cleaning Services at Swift…

Get in touch with our friendly, expert team for a free quotation on London: 0203 405 8442 or Essex & Hertfordshire: 01279 413641.