Office appearance is important to employees. A professional and neat working environment builds company morale and increases the proficiency of staff members. It also instills confidence in the visitors to the office as to your success and abilities. Most employees would like to point with pride to the firm where they work.

Individuals have different work styles and habits. There are many products on the market that are available to help someone sort, maintain, and keep their work materials filed and organized while maintaining a neat appearance. You must let your employees know what you consider to be acceptable standards for their working areas and allow them to operate within your standards.

An office policy, such as a clean desktop at the end of the day (while nice) has not been proven to be necessary. Not eating at your desk when a break-room is provided can be justified on the basis of rodent control. If you develop standard policies, make sure that they are fair and sensible. I recall a business owner who would never hire a person who smoked a pipe, as pipe smokers wasted too much time.

Provide sufficient files, furniture and equipment so that papers, catalogs, equipment, etc., can be stored safely and neatly. Establish procedures for the office to be cleaned on a regular basis, and for the grounds and parking areas to be cleaned and re-striped on a scheduled basis.

As a manager, you are a role model for your employees and you should be organized and neat. Set a standard for the organization, and enforce your standards consistently.

Mike Holt’s Comment: This newsletter was extracted from my Business Management and Management Skills’ Workbook. Watch for our next newsletter, and as always, we encourage your comments and feedback. Send us your real-life experiences. Please respond to

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