Published on May 31, 2016

by Michelle Gage

Your desk should be a clean space to inspire creativity and productivity. It is your personal space, but ultimately a public zone. Let’s not litter it with keepsakes and tchotchkes while there’s work to do. There are no rules when it comes to decorating your workspace, but a few items should stay away for the sake of professionalism and getting stuff done. 

 

We are all for keeping a couple lip balms around, but we draw the line at makeup and brushes. Keep those items in your purse and apply in the bathroom. No one wants your face powder dusting the top of their keyboard.

If you prefer to work straight through lunch, it is acceptable to eat at your desk. However, don’t let those dirty dishes pile up. No one has enough surface space to house this messy stack.

Your coworkers don’t need to know what you do on the weekends. No one expects you to live your life as a shut in, but they need not know specifics. Keep the bachelor and bachelorette souvenirs at home.

It’s okay to keep a sweetly posed wedding photo or two on your desk, but steer clear of pinning up your friend’s photos. This isn’t your home; it’s a place of business. 

So we are fully expecting someone out there to disagree on this one, but we don’t see a need for sports memorabilia to live on your desk. A game day photo is fine, but bobble heads are a no-go. 

Skip the sassy mugs! You left that rebellious attitude back in high school! A place of business is no place for a bad attitude. We can bet you that no matter how cool you think your boss is, she won’t be cool seeing you sip out of this in a big meeting.

Keep the candy off of your desk. Trust us, you will thank us later. Candy encourages pop-bys, which can be extremely detrimental to your work flow. It also encourages snacking out of boredom. Both bad.

Even if it is being used as a vase, forget the alcohol bottles. Leave the boozy bottles at home. While you may have even been out drinking at a happy hour with some of your favorite coworkers, don’t bring the boozy vibes back to your workspace. 

We’ve all got a life outside of work. There is no need to bring your personal agenda into the work place. Scheduling weekend activities should occur after work hours. Don’t bring this book into the office.

This one hits on a couple of the no-no’s above. Booze-filled weekend activities should steer clear of the office. Keep any gear from that fun time at home.

Personal grooming has its time and its place – and that time is not during 8:00 to 5:00 and that place is not at the office. Tweezers and other tools should stay in your purse. No one wants to watch you pluck your eyebrows while they are crunching numbers.

Leave the leftovers in the communal kitchen. It is just plain rude to store them on your desk all day. Keep the smells contained in the company fridge. Wait until lunch to retrieve your noms. 

Whether you are on Team Trump or Team Clinton, no one needs to know. There is absolutely no space for political talk in the workplace. Keep the campaign pens and posters out of the office. There is no need to start a heated conversation with coworkers during productive hours. 

We love a good bottle of nail polish. However, painting your nails at work is a big no-no. The scent alone makes it something that should not enter the workplace. How bad would it look to the big boss if everyone around you was typing away and you had time to paint your nails?

Everyone loves a good baby announcement. It is totally cool to keep your own pinned up around your desk. However, we suggest storing the memos of your friends elsewhere. Keep those photos on your fridge, not your work computer.

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