What you keep on your desk says a lot about you

What you keep on your desk says a lot about you

The things that we surround ourselves with during our workday say a lot about us.



By Vicky Kapur (From the Executive Editor's desk)

Published: Tue 6 Aug 2019, 8:00 PM

Last updated: Wed 7 Aug 2019, 5:24 PM

I had this colleague once in one of my previous organisations who'd stuck an Emirates airline in-flight sticker on the wall of his cubicle. You know the three-coloured stickers that you get in the Economy class? The pink one says 'Do Not Disturb zzz' for the sleepy traveller and the orange one says 'Wake me up for Duty Free' for the shopaholic. So, he had the green one that said 'Wake Me Up For Food'. I found it really funny when I saw it the first time but as I got to know him better, I realised that it was a nice fit with his personality (no, he didn't doze off at work). You could always interest him in a munch, always.
The things that we surround ourselves with during our workday say a lot about us. A stuffed toy (I've seen it on more desks than I'd care to admit), picture frames (strangely, not many although movies suggest everyone has one), Rubik's Cube and stress-relief balls, table-clocks, awards and trophies, sticky notes, inspirational posters or sayings, neat desks, cluttered desks. every little bit says something about the persona of the individual occupying that space.
A family portrait, for instance, would suggest that you get inspired by your spouse and kids, but it may also send a signal that you'll be working as a super-efficient person, keen to wrap up the day's work and go see them in person. A lack of family portrait, though, won't suggest the opposite. It may say that you value privacy and keep things neatly separate - personal and work life, that is. A cluttered desk may reflect the fact that you are juggling plenty of balls at the same time while a neat desk doesn't say that you've got it under control - it just means that you are an organised soul. A puzzle on the desk would reflect your epistemically curious nature while awards would obviously display your achievements while suggesting you're not shy to brag about them. So, what does your desk say about you?


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