NEW YORK (MainStreet) — When your boss and colleagues pass by the paperwork strewn over your desk and half-eaten bag of chips, what are they really thinking?
Here's a look at five problems your messy desk might be causing:
1. Your colleagues don't want to work with you on group projects.
Some people truly believe a messy desk is the sign of a creative mind, but others may see it as a sign of unprofessionalism and disorganization, says Robert Hosking, executive director of staffing firm OfficeTeam.
"Although it's not necessarily right to judge someone based on their desk, it can be hard to turn a blind eye to a cluttered workspace," Hosking says. "Having a messy workspace can affect your professional reputation. Your colleagues may perceive you as unorganized and inefficient."
If your colleagues need help on a project, your disorganization may make them less likely to use you as a resource than someone who is tidy, says Skip Weisman, leadership and workplace communication expert and founder of YourChampionshipCompany.com.
"You always want to be seen as the go-to person for projects. You're only going to accomplish that if people's perception of you is that you're responsive and organized," Weisman says.
Your desk is a reflection of how you operate, says Lynn Taylor, author of Tame Your Terrible Office Tyrant: How to Manage Childish Boss Behavior and Thrive in Your Job.