One of the columnists who writes with me over on RealSimple.com tipped me off to an interesting survey produced by the staffing firm OfficeTeam. OfficeTeam interviewed human resources (HR) managers and asked them:
How does the neatness of an employee’s desk or office affect your perception of that person’s level of professionalism?
The results of their survey found that 83 percent of respondents said that desk and office neatness affects their perceptions of employees. Eighteen percent said it “greatly” affects their opinions, and 65 percent said it “somewhat” affected it. Only 17 percent of respondents said it didn’t affect their perceptions at all.
What does this mean? If you work in a traditional office environment, it’s statistically likely to assume that the state of your desk and office is influencing HR’s opinion of your professionalism. If an HR representative sits in on discussions regarding hiring, firing, layoffs, raises, and other aspects of your job, keeping a clean desk might be in your best interest.