While some people find it very difficult to work in a disorganized environment, others are indifferent about the state of their work environment, particularly their work desks.
Whichever category you find yourself, a recently published Harvard Business Review study has revealed that having a disorganized desk can have a negative effect on your productivity as well as limit how efficiently you can carry out your designated tasks.
In addition to making your desk messy, some of these items are generally inappropriate for the work environment. Such inappropriate documents include documents that contain sensitive information and political items.
Some of the items that shouldn’t be found on your desk include.
1. Political Materials
According to entrepreneur and business coach, Eugene Gamble, even though everyone is free to hold their opinions and beliefs, it is possible for your co-workers to take offense on your political standing. If this happens, it could birth unnecessary conflict and tension at the workplace. Gamble recommended that employees should, therefore, try not to mix their political beliefs with what obtains in the workplace.
Some consider eating lunch while at their desk a wise decision but on a deeper look, it could be affecting your productivity. A professor at Unicaf, Kimberly Elsbach, in a 2015 article stated that innovation and creativity occur in situations when individuals have a change of environment, particularly upon a deliberate exposure to an environment that is natural.
Elsbach added that remaining inside just one location could have detrimental effects on a person’s creative thinking ability.
3. Unwashed Mugs
Keeping the dirty mugs you used for coffee on your table can further make the space messy. Valli Vishnubhotla of AW Media said that it’s the best option to take out time to take the coffee mug to the kitchen just immediately after you use it.
Cellphones may rank as the most difficult object to part with for a lot of people. An entrepreneur and author, Judge Graham, noted that several of the things we have on mobile phones are only distractions from things that will help us forge ahead.
He added that he preferred the landline of the old times as it only gives room strictly for business purposes contact meaning that the time spent on the phone is contributing to the business value.
Another published study revealed that just the presence of your phone is enough distraction and it doesn’t matter that you powered it off or put it on silent mode.
5. Legal paperwork
The vice president of RPA, Laura Small, mentioned to Business Insider that employees should not have paperwork bordering on legal proceedings to which they are parties either in their personal capacity or at work lying on the table. She added that it’s too much information than you are required to share with your colleagues and could become a negative reflection in a case where things are misunderstood.
6. Your Resume
An author and career coach, Roy Cohen explained that unless your employer announces that it would carry out a major layoff and there is a high likelihood that it will affect your position, then do not keep your resume on your desk. Cohen explained that it sends an obvious message that you are in search of a job and when this gets to the knowledge of your bosses, it could reduce the trust they have in you.
7. Sweets And Candy
If you are making attempts to remain fit and healthy, then it is necessary that you avoid keeping candy, chocolate or cookies on your desk.
HomeWorkingClub founder, Ben Taylor, noted that going ahead to munch any of those while you are not concentrating on a task comes easy in this case. He added that regardless of where you work be it from office or from home, try to keep such snacks out of your easy reach.
8. Personal Care Items
It’s not bad to have a mirror or toothbrush kept in your drawer but you should avoid bringing to work tweezers, deodorants, nail clippers etc.
9. Plug-in Air Fragrance
Everyone would like to work in a place that doesn’t have a strong smell. A lot of people could actually have allergies while some prefer an environment that is non-fragranced.
A business coach and consultant, Jenn Moore, explained that these air fresheners are potential fire hazard which other workers could find that considerably distracting.