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Read about our latest research, including results from our ongoing surveys of senior managers and workers, and company announcements.

What The Boss Thinks Of Your Messy Desk
More Than Half of Managers Are Annoyed by Untidy Workspaces

MENLO PARK, Calif., March 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Is it time to spring clean your messy desk? More than half of senior managers (54 percent) interviewed by staffing firm OfficeTeam said the most distracting or annoying aspect of employee workspaces is sloppiness or disorganization. Interestingly, one in 10 respondents acknowledged a desk that's too clean or bare raises a red flag.

Fifteen percent of senior managers reported seeing an inappropriate or offensive item in an employee's work area.

View an infographic of the survey findings.

Senior managers were asked, "Which one of the following is the most distracting or annoying when it comes to employee workspaces?" Their responses:

Having a messy or disorganized workspace


Displaying inappropriate or offensive photos or phrases


Having too many knickknacks or decorations


Having a workspace that's too clean or bare





Senior managers were also asked, "Have you ever seen an inappropriate or offensive item or decoration in an employee's workspace?" Their responses:








"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 offers three tips for creating a workspace that leaves a good impression:

  1. Clean up your act. Spend a few minutes every day clearing out old documents, food wrappers and dirty dishes. Reduce clutter by organizing files or going paperless.
  2. Keep it simple. It's OK to have a few things in your workspace that are inspiring or fun to look at, but covering your desk with too many knickknacks can be an eyesore.   
  3. Don't be offensive. Remember, items in your work area aren't always for your eyes only. Ditch the political posters, risqué photos and anything that might be too controversial.

About the Research
The survey was developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 300 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the United States.

About OfficeTeam
OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation's leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has 300 locations worldwide. For additional information, visit Follow the OfficeTeam Take Note® blog at for career and management advice.



SOURCE OfficeTeam

For further information: Cynthia Kong, (650) 234-6298,