Dress up your office

Pay special attention to details

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You take great pains to pick out clothes and accessories that project a polished image. But what about your work space? It says just as much about you as your personal appearance. As with a wardrobe, office details can make or break you.

The Manager’s Intelligence Report, a publication of Chicago-based Lawrence Ragan Communications Inc., a management information firm, maintains that your office is an extension of your professional image. The report suggests paying special attention to the following areas to convey your personal style:

  • Furniture arrangement. For a formal atmosphere and to maintain distance from visitors, you may want to set your desk in the middle of the floor with chairs facing it. To project a confident image, position the desk against a wall.
  • Messy desks. A small amount of clutter actually implies comfort and friendliness. Too much, however, may cause visitors to think you don’t care about making a good impression. At the other extreme, an immaculate desk conveys coldness and an insufficient workload.
  • Decorations. Leave the mounted fish at home. Plants and draperies convey a more comfortable, relaxed attitude, while books and artwork express sincerity. Job-related certificates and awards reassure visitors that you are experienced and competent.