Small Business

Tidy desk, tidy mind – seven tips to stay organised

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Dear junk-keeping junkies, hoarders and pile makers. The odds are stacked against you as precariously as the stacks stacked on your desk – at least according to the results of a recent study.

According to OfficeTeam, a US-based recruitment specialist, a messy desk could reflect poorly on your professional reputation. Polling more than 500 human resources managers, the survey found that eight in 10, or 83 per cent, of those surveyed felt the appearance of an employee’s workspace affected how they perceived that person’s professionalism.

When asked how the neatness of an employee’s desk or office affected how they rated their professionalism, 18 per cent said it greatly affects it, while 65 per cent stated it somewhat affected it. Only 17 per cent said it wouldn’t affect how they perceived that individual at all.

“A tidy desk won’t necessarily boost your career, but a messy one can leave a bad impression on colleagues,” says Robert Hosking, executive director of OfficeTeam. “By taking simple steps to organise your workspace, you also will be able to find materials more easily and increase your productivity.”

OfficeTeam pollsters sought tips from the International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP) on how to organise your workspace. IAAP recommended these seven tips:

  1. View your desk from a visitor’s perspective. Your workspace should be appealing to colleagues and visitors as well as yourself.
  2. Establish a system to stay organised that suits your style early on and adapt it as circumstances and workload changes.
  3. File, don’t pile!
  4. Don't touch the same piece of paper more than once – either file, recycle or toss it.
  5. Your desk should only have those materials needed for your current projects. Anything else should be filed or stored elsewhere.
  6. Push for paperless. Only print items that are necessary.
  7. Before leaving the office, give your workspace a quick spruce up so it is clean and organised for the next day’s work.


Published on: Friday, April 15, 2011

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