Careers Could be Lost in the Clutter

July 21, 2011 ( - A new CareerBuilder survey finds nearly three-in-ten (28%) employers say they are less likely to promote someone who has a disorganized or messy work space.

Nearly two-in-five employers (38%) say piles of paper covering a desk negatively impacted their perception of that person; 27% feel they are disorganized, while 16% say they are just messy.   

According to a press release, 33% of workers say they tend to be hoarders (evenly balanced between male and female workers). While companies have shifted to a more digital workplace, more than half (51%) of workers say they still have paper files in their office/desk.   

Thirty-eight percent of employees say that, currently, between 50% to 100% of their desk surface is covered with work and other materials, while 16% said 75% or more of their desk is covered.  

Thirty-six percent of workers say they have paper files from more than a year ago, 13% have files that are five years or older and 6% have files dating back more than 10 years.  

The survey was conducted between May 19 and June 8, 2011, among 2,662 U.S. hiring managers and 5,299 workers.