The physical space that you work in is one of the most important, but also most overlooked, parts of being professional at the office. After all, where you work shows everybody how you do your job and determines how you do it. Even more than that, though, the way you maintain your work environment has a lot of mental benefits and effects, as well.
Keep It Tidy
Your office or workspace is where you go to get things done, so it needs to be free of distractions and obstacles. The simplest way to do this is to keep your desk, office, or workstation clean and orderly. This applies to your digital work area, too. If your computer desktop is a dizzying mass of shortcuts and disorganized files, you make finding everything much more difficult, which can make even the simplest tasks frustrating and stressful.
Keep It Ready
Your tools and supplies should be where you use them or safely stored away, ready to be used the next time. This drastically cuts down on the time you need to spend getting ready for each new assignment. Furthermore, putting away your supplies also helps avoid embarrassing moments like fumbling for a pen in the middle of an important interview or worrying that you have lost your tools at the exact moment your supervisor happens to be walking by.
Keep It Simple
Even if your employer allows personalization of your personal work environment, try to avoid putting up too many things that are not directly related to your work. Excessive decorating can add to unnecessary clutter, and it also creates distracting visual noise that can make it harder to focus. If your position requires you to interact with people often, personal decorations can also create an unprofessional appearance, which may not reflect well on you or your employer.
Keep It Maintained
Any tools or supplies you rely on need to be kept in good functioning order, obviously, but this can extend beyond just your basic work equipment. For example, if your desk has damage or marks on the surface, or if your chair has loose screws, try to keep these from becoming problems by either getting them fixed or replaced as the need arises, rather than letting problems build up until something breaks.
Keep It Professional
Finally, your work environment is made for just that: work. Creating too casual of an atmosphere can detract from your ability to accomplish assignments or finish tasks on time, so it helps to stay as professional and business-oriented as possible.