Question: We allow employees to personalize their work areas. However, we have one employee who
has so many pictures, plaques, sayings, and other trinkets on their desk that there is little space
left to work. Can we make them take some of it down?
Answer: Allowing an employee to make their workspace “their own” is a good idea. It helps them
connect to the workplace and feel more comfortable where they spend several hours each day.
However, you should make it clear in policy and practice that the workspace is the property of
the company and therefore employees are not entitled to full control or privacy over it.
● Consider creating guidelines for what is acceptable
● Restrict what or how much can be hung on walls or in cubicles
● Limit the number of pictures or plaques that can be displayed, focusing on mostly
professional or company-related items such as diplomas or recognition awards
● Require a certain amount of workspace be available for actual work
● Prohibit anything that is unacceptable or could be offensive to other employees
Be consistent in enforcing these policies regardless of who they are or where their workspace is
located. Hopefully you can find a balance between completely impersonal and excessive work areas.