What does your desk say about you

Is it important to check what you keep on your desk to give out the right impression?

Ones immediate and personal environment is an extension to their persona. And the workspace is no different. It is where you spend maximum number of hours in a week and where you are seen the most (in most cases). A messy desk is not a “system.” It is a manifestation of gross neglect. Hence, it is necessary that it reflects you as an individual and helps in perception management.


What is a complete no-no for the desk?


The list is endless but to begin with, what you keep on your desk should be keeping in mind the nature of your work and industry. In an investment bank, it is frowned upon if the space is cluttered and full of personal pictures and notes. Same rules apply for the wallpaper on your desktop. People trusting you with their money must see you as someone credible. Hence, keep it simple. A few appropriate pictures and necessary stationery is as far as you should go.

If you were in the creative line of work, have fun. Express, emote but don’t go overboard. Keep the creativity energy fresh and not mucky.  But do not go as far as plants are concerned. You have a place called home for that.

Either ways do not clutter your desk with a lot of paperwork and files. If there is additional space provided, store the unnecessary there.

Women should bar from making their workstations a pink/red overload. In a corporate world, putting your feminism on the forefront might put your career on a backseat. If you like keeping extra pair of shoes, clothing etc. for time of need, keep it discreet.

Unless absolutely necessary, refrain from eating at your desk.  Clear out empty cups of tea/coffee, beverage cans and food wrappers time to time.


What should you keep on the desk?


Everyone likes to make his or her workstations personalized.  Few appropriate pictures, accolades and necessary stationary are as far as one should go to play safe. If your work environment allows a little creativity, go ahead and add some colors. But do not barge into someone else’s space.


How can you arrange and adorn your desk to give out the right impression?


Reflect who you are. Having said that, workstation adornment should not be a necessary conversation starter. No one likes being known as the person who has too many flowers or paperwork at their stations. Keep it simple. Place a few pictures if need be, maybe copy of some appreciation mail addressed to you would be acceptable as well. But do not overdo it. You should not be seen as someone trying too hard to make a point. Even if you are the youngest member in the team, do not put up pictures of a wild night with friends on your workstation. A family picture, graduation pictures, parents and close family is as far as you should go.

If you have a pin board next to your station, pin up necessary information like phone numbers or instructions to it.


Treat your workstation as you would treat your personal space. Keep it clean and simple. Let it not be your identity in its entity. Let it be a reflection of who you are by keeping it clean and sophisticated. 

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