More than half (54 percent) of senior managers are distracted or annoyed by their employees’ messy workspaces, according to a recent survey by staffing firm OfficeTeam. At the same time, 1 in 10 acknowledge that a bare desk raises a red flag.

Among OfficeTeam’s other findings:

  • 21 percent of managers are annoyed when employees display inappropriate or offensive photos or phrases.
  • 15 percent of those surveyed dislike when employee workspaces are cluttered with too many knickknacks or decorations.
  • 15 percent of respondents reported seeing an inappropriate or offensive item in an employee’s work area.

“Your workspace is a reflection of you. Keep it tidy and make sure there isn’t anything on display that might cause others to question your professionalism,” said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “Showing a little personality on your desk is fine, but don’t go overboard. You want to stand out for your positive attributes, not the messy state of your office or work area.”

OfficeTeam offered three tips for creating a workspace that leaves a good impression:

  • Spend a few minutes each day clearing out old documents, food wrappers and dirty dishes. Consider going paperless to reduce clutter.
  • While it’s OK to have a few personal items in your workspace that are inspiring or fun to look at, a desk covered with too many knickknacks can be an eyesore.
  • Avoid political posters, risqué photos or anything else that might be deemed controversial.

Source: OfficeTeam