If your office could talk, what would it say about you? Modern, sleek, organized and focused or cluttered, dated, piled up and overwhelmed. Take an honest 360 and see how the signals from your ‘home away from home’ are being read.
I have to tell you I have seen an astounding array of stuff stacked on desks and squirreled away in cubicles and everything tells a story. Some stories are great like recent awards and certifications. Also good – visuals and charts on products, services and info that places you on trend. Leadership, management and communication books tend to stand out, along with the technical ones that keep you current.
Some office items tell a less favourable story. What would you think of messy spaces that are choking with –
• An oversupply of scraggly plants or artificial flowers
• Family photos in frames galore…is this the living room?
• The kid’s artwork, the kid’s artwork, the kid’s artwork
• Multiple novelty mugs or desk toys– it’s not a playground
• Any stuffed animals especially in collections or motifs of any kind – think frogs
• Old cartoons, especially ones with Dilbert-style cynicism
• Too. Much. Paper. – shouldn’t this stuff be on your computer?
• Mugs of Pens – needed maybe for all that paper?
• Stress Balls – you’re handling it well, right?
• The Staples Easy button – Are you overwhelmed?
• Stuff on the floor, gym bags and shoes – use your trunk for this
• To do lists in plain sight – are you running behind?
• Bowls of candy – a little dated and unnecessary
At the very least run a purge of what’s around you and turn that haphazard array into crisp organization. Your space reflects does reflect you so have it say ‘professional’ in capitals. Make a positive impression with carefully selected items to create a polished personal statement. This will improve how others perceive you and boost your overall workplace brand. More on branding in future blogs.