Passed up for that last promotion? Feel like your boss never takes you seriously? The presentation of your workspace could be influencing these decisions.

“Most companies allow employees to customize their own workspaces with personal belongings,” says Jerry Dittmer, president of The HON Company, a leading office furniture manufacturer. “It’s up to the employees to put their best feet forward.”

“People draw opinions about who we are and how we operate based on what our space looks like, sounds like and even smells like,” Jen Zobel Bieber, a New York-based life coach reported in a recent article for

Don’t hinder your chances of a promotion. Be sure your office doesn’t fall into one of these classic categories:

* Kidding around

After countless exams and term papers, you’ve finally earned your diploma and started your first “real” job. But photos of your “glory days” or posters of your favorite rock band could be telling your boss that you’re still not ready to grow up.

* Mommy mania

They are your pride and joy, but be careful that your area isn’t a shrine to your family. A few tastefully framed photos add a personal touch. Just be sure not to overload your area, as this may indicate that your mind is at home, not on your work.

* Sloppy Sue

Will your boss be able to find you behind your piles of files or stacks of sticky notes? You may think that your boss will understand that among your many tasks you don’t have time to organize; he may see things differently. Instead of dedication, your boss may see that you can’t keep your files straight – much less a big project.

* Clean as a whistle

Or, does your office look too organized? You may think that a perfectly clean work area indicates that you’re amazingly efficient and organized. Think again. A completely clear desk may leave your boss thinking that you have a clear calendar as well.

Did we describe your office? Don’t worry – with a few suggestions from The HON Company, you can easily make your office functional . . . and on the fast track for success.

* Power position

Ever see a small, tattered chair in the President’s office? Of course not. A quality chair is a status symbol for power – not to mention the key to a comfortable and effective work environment.

“‘If it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ is often the motto when it comes to office chairs,” says Brian Miller, HON’s vice president of seating. “Unfortunately, this means many offices are equipped with old, uncomfortable chairs.”

Show your boss you mean business by requesting a budget to update your chair. HON’s F3 chair is a quality option, offering fit, form and function and at an affordable price.

If you’re not ready to ask the boss for a new seating budget, stroll around the office to find other chairs available to swap into your workstation. Or, even if you really want to make an impression, purchase a chair for yourself.

* Organize your organization

By establishing a few rules, you can raise your organization levels significantly. First, determine how you tend to organize (if at all).

“Try using multi-colored file folders to separate different clients or projects within filing cabinets or rolling pedestal files,” says Fred Colony, HON’s vice president of metal casegoods. “This provides an easy-to-implement way to keep files organized without extravagant labeling.”

Or, if your desk or floor tends to have stacks of papers, add bookcases or other storage units to keep paper off the floor and out of sight. Once you have your organizational system in place, set time aside each quarter to purge unnecessary clutter – making sure to recycle any old documents.

* Work-life balance

You spend more time at the office than you do at home, so it makes sense to personalize your workstation. But before you begin decorating to the hilt – remember to keep a work-life balance.

Instead of displaying photos for the whole office to see, choose a few of your favorites and place them facing inward for you to enjoy. These happy reflections will help you make it through the day until you are with your loved ones again – while maintaining a professional office aura.

Plants are also an ideal addition to your office decor. While making your office more “homey,” personality researchers also say that plants in the office indicate that you are establishing roots at work – literally and figuratively.

So, before chastising your boss for passing you by for the latest promotion, take a look around. Beyond your work skills, your boss may be taking note of your current cube or office decor. Be sure that your surroundings are giving off the personality that you want to portray. With a few quick updates to your decor and organization, you will be in the boss’ good graces in no time. – Courtesy of ARAcontent.

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