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NEW YORK (MainStreet) — Did you have to fight through a pile of papers, books, unopened mail and candy wrappers to find your computer’s mouse to click on this article? Then keep reading.

Nearly half of Americans (42%) say they have judged a co-worker more negatively for having a messy desk at work, according to a survey of more than 1,000 adults conducted earlier this month by The Adecco Group, a staffing firm. On the flip side, 45% of those surveyed say they have judged a co-worker more favorably for keeping their workspace clean.

Some of those surveyed believed their co-worker’s desk was messy because he or she was too busy to keep it clean while others attributed it to laziness. Regardless of what caused it, nearly three quarters say that those with messy desks are less productive than those with clean desks.

Whether or not it’s actually true that having a messy desk makes you less productive, all that really matters is that your co-workers think it’s true. So if you haven’t already done a spring cleaning at work, now is the time.

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Having a messy desk isn’t the only thing that might get you in trouble at work. Check out MainStreet’s roundup of eight things you should never do in the office.

Seth Fiegerman is a staff reporter for MainStreet. You can reach him by e-mail at, or follow him on Twitter @sfiegerman.