messy workspace

Your workspace cleanliness says a lot about your work style.

According to another survey of over one thousand workers by the staffing firm Adecco, fifty-seven percent of Americans admit they judge their coworkers based on how tidy or messy they keep their workspaces. Nearly half reveal they have been “appalled” by how sloppy a colleague’s messy workpace is, and most attribute the mess to nothing more than laziness.

Messiness can be distracting to colleagues if you work in a semi-shared workspace where you can see one another’s space clearly. Having a messy space can be distracting and often is seen as a direct reflection of one’s mindset at work.

If you have an extremely messy workspace, those around you may assume you are disorganized and have scattered thoughts. This could have long term impacts on promotions and pay raises in the workplace. With a large percentage of those surveyed linking messiness with laziness, by keeping workspaces clean and tidy, it will ensure you are receiving the respect you deserve in the workplace.

First Impressions Reminder:

When working in large office environments, the only impression some of your coworkers have of you could be your workspace. If you are used to working in a cluttered and messy workspace, you may not think twice about it; however, for those who see your workspace, they may question your effectiveness at work. This is important to consider as your employer and coworkers will often walk by your workspace throughout the day. If they are not interacting with you in person, all they see from you is your work environment and are making assumptions about your productivity from that. If they are witnessing cluttered papers and files, reminders all over the place, and no order, they may not trust that you know where all your relevant documents are and may lose track of your responsibilities of the day. From this, you may be given fewer opportunities at work because others may assume you cannot handle the pressure.

By cleaning up your space, you are giving off the impression that you value your work environment and therefore value the work you are producing. If you are typically a messy worker, try using folders and stackable trays for organization. By using desk organizers, you can sort your documents out to give your workspace the look of being more organized and thoughtful. By classifying your documents and files into what you still need to get done or what is already done, you can keep track of your work while clearing some clutter.

Regardless of how you sort your work, if you have something to keep in your workspace to help you file and organize, you will be forced to clear some of the mess that piles up throughout the day. Also, try using a pencil/pen holder so that you do not have things scattered around your workplace. Just by keeping things grouped together and minimizing the amount of chaos in your workplace, you may be seen as a more organized and trustworthy with a variety of projects. By simply implementing some organization in your place of work, you may gain more respect and take on more responsibilities in your career.

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