My desk is covered with Simpsons memorabilia, nine boxes of cereal, and photos of my family and friends. With one glance any passer-by can see I’m a fan of cartoons, eating, and my loved ones. A study at the University of Texas Austin found that offices can reveal much about a worker’s personality and dedication to the job. In general though, a worker with a highly personalized space is one who is secure about her position and claiming her space.
Empty or Un-Personalized Desk
This indicates either a lack of dedication to the job or someone who is generally dissatisfied with the job—in either case, not a good sign.
Plants, whether they are cared for or not, reveal that a worker is planning to stay at the job.
Candy Bowl/Lots of Supplies
This worker wants people to come visit her and is an extrovert—shy or introverted types would never put anything on their desks that would draw others into their spaces.
This is an ambitious person who is dedicated to his job and wants to remain engaged—can indicate someone who wants challenges and a chance to prove himself.
This can go two ways. If the photos are placed for others to see, it’s usually a status symbol and done more for the appearance. If the photos are placed for only the worker to see, they are usually genuine reminders of loved ones, which can motivate the worker or ease the guilt of spending so much time away from the loved ones.
Excessive Post-It Notes
Indicates the worker is feeling overwhelmed and not able to keep up.
However you choose to decorate your office space, bring a piece of your personality to your desk. Co-workers love seeing the you beyond your little gray cube. (Throwing in a desk plant and a few strategically placed images of mom and dad wouldn’t hurt either.)