Now that spring is in full swing, is it time to clean up your desk at work? According to a survey from staffing firm OfficeTeam, more than half of senior managers (54 percent) said the most distracting or annoying aspect of employee workspaces is sloppiness or disorganization. On the flip side, one in 10 respondents acknowledged a desk that’s too clean or bare raises a red flag. Fifteen percent of senior managers also reported seeing an inappropriate or offensive item in an employee’s work area.


You’re not always going to be judged on how your desk looks, but a messy workspace can affect your professional reputation. It can cause colleagues to perceive you as unorganized and inefficient. An untidy desk can also be distracting and an eyesore.


But can a sloppy work area also make you less productive? It’s important to keep in mind that you should organize your desk based on what works best for you. A workspace that looks disorderly may actually be arranged a certain way to suit an individual’s work style. In general, if your desk is tidy, you won’t waste valuable time searching for things you need. Also, if you have a strong organization system in place and let others know where important materials are stored, they’ll be able to more easily perform duties when you’re out of the office.


The best course of action is having a desk that’s not too cluttered – or too empty. Spend a few minutes every day cleaning up your space and keep your decorations tasteful.