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What does your office, cubicle, or desk look like?
In my day job, most of my time is spent in a cubicle in front of a computer monitor and a small portion of my time is spent at home in front of a notebook computer sitting at my coffee table. In the office, I have only a few personal items displayed on my desk. I’m not interested in making my cubicle feel like home or comfortable; it’s a place of work and I don’t particularly want to stay there longer than necessary.
A study shows that having any more than one out of five objects on your desk of a personal nature rather than professional could affect your reputation. American managers in the study show a differentiation between professional and “unprofessional” employees, and expect significantly more personal objects to be on display for those they deem “unprofessional.”
On the other hand, having more personal items on a desk could increase an employee’s level of happiness, which could then result in higher productivity and good performance. In a boring cubicle farm, where everyone’s workspaces are identical by default, increasing the sense of individuality is important to creating a more human environment.
How many personal items on your desk are too many?