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January 26th, 2011
You're Messy Desk May Be the Roadblock of Your Career

National Survey Reveals Workplace Clutter Tarnishes Professional Image and May Prevent Promotions

2011 OfficeMax survey explores the mental and physical effects of clutter in the workplace
 - If your desktop is covered with stacks of paper, used coffee mugs, and sticky notes, you may find your career faltering.

According to the OfficeMax® Workspace Organization Survey¹ conducted by Kelton Research in January 2011, over two-thirds of Americans admit their organizational skills are lacking. To make matters worse, their messy workspaces at the office may be shaping the way their coworkers and supervisors perceive them.

"If you are wondering what's holding you back from that promotion or why you weren't asked to be a part of new project team, take a look at your desk," said Peter Walsh, world renowned organizational expert and creator of the Peter Walsh you•organized line of organizational tools. "If you have piles of paper and a to-do list filled with items that keep getting perpetually pushed back, think about how these examples of procrastination impact your productivity and your self image. If you want to change your situation at work, you need start with getting - and keeping - your desk in order. It is the key to increasing your productivity and your image as someone who can handle more responsibility."

The study reveals that many Americans are ashamed of their disorganization and worried about people dropping by their office or home for fear of witnessing their messy habits. The areas people are reportedly most ashamed of anyone seeing include their desk or workspace (35%), bedroom closet (28%), or desk drawers (12%).

Perhaps even more alarming is the image you convey to others. With performance evaluations common at the start of the year, professional appearances really matter.

“The condition of your desk can shape your boss’s and co-worker’s perception of you and your work habits,” said Walsh. “If there’s no semblance of order and purpose, it’s easy for people — particularly your boss — to think that you are not on top of projects and that you’re overwhelmed.”




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