Your desk is your home away from home. More than that, it’s a place you inhabit for eight hours a day so that you can reap the benefits of being a productive member of society and not feel like a lazy oaf.
Because we spend so much time at our desks, it’s important for our workspaces to reflect who we are and motivate us to get through the day. Customizing your space can re-energize you when you’ve been in a slump at work, it can make you happier and more comfortable, and it can even make you more productive.
But there’s a catch:
Your workspace is not entirely private, so you’ll have to make sure that your desk or cubicle shows off the most professional and un-obscene version of yourself. Follow these ten tips to help you learn how to decorate your perfect office workspace.
When decorating your workspace, it’s important to show that you’re business first and foremost — even if you do happen to party in the back. Customizing your desk or cubicle is a great way to feel more comfortable and motivated at work, but make sure that your space shows that you’re focused on getting your work done.
To show that you’re not just at work to goof off and play with the fun stuff on your desk, keep your keyboard, phone, pens, and a notebook within arm’s length. Fun pictures and decorations are great for showing who you are, but make sure they don’t completely take over your work space.
And on that note…
When showing off your personality through your cubicle accessories, try to refrain from going overboard and making your desk look like an Etsy store threw up everywhere.
Leave the wallpaper at home, and try not to cover every square inch with pictures of you and your besties from college. This is a professional environment, so make your space reflect your professional attitude.
There are certain things that you should just leave behind when you go to work. Aside from the obvious weapons and other various contraband, leave things like electric kettles, candles, space heaters, and incense at home.
If you feel like you truly can’t survive without your favorite $30 Christmas-scented candle staring back at you from your desk, check with your supervisor to see if they’ll allow you to bring these kinds of things to work.
Always remember to make sure these items are completely blown out or turned off when you leave at the end of the day — safety first, then teamwork.
When customizing your cubicle or desk, make sure that your worldly goods don’t overflow into shared spaces or your coworker’s own personal space.
If you need to hang something over a partition wall, make sure to ask your neighbor if it would bother them. It most likely won’t be a problem, but your coworker will appreciate that you checked with them first.
Adding color to your space is a quick and easy way to brighten your day and lift your spirits if you’ve been in a slump at work.
Many office spaces reflect the kind of work they do. If you’re in a more conservative line of work, like banking or legal services, adding a neutral color scheme to your desk would be an appropriate way to brighten up your work area. On the other hand, creative work, such as graphic design or photographers, it would make sense to use a more vibrant color scheme.
If company branding is important to your business, try to think of ways to incorporate logos into the colors you decorate your space with. Aspects of decorating like color schemes and logo may seem unimportant, but they can have a psychological impact on both you and potential clients who visit your work space.
No one cares that you avidly support a twitter-obsessed screaming cheeto with small hands. Just keep your opinions to yourself and out of your workspace. If your business interacts with the public, it’s especially important to steer clear of political statements.
Politics have an impact on everyone around you. Unless you work for a political campaign, you should never let your office decorations give any indication of how you vote. No matter what political statement you’re dying to make, you’re bound to offend someone, and it’s best to just not go there.
Having pictures of your family, friends, pets, or even your favorite childhood imaginary friend on your desk can give you a boost in your motivation and help you get through the day’s assignments.
Remembering that you have a life after 5:00 pm is a good way to push yourself to get through the workday. But don’t go overboard and start commissioning revered artists to paint murals of your beloved dog in your office — sticking to two or three framed photos will do just fine.
When choosing what pictures and decorations to bring to work, ask yourself if you would invite the people you work with into your home. If not — keep your personal statements to a minimum.
No matter how good you look in your banana hammock swimsuit that you wore on your last lover’s vacation, don’t put any risque pictures or decor on display that you wouldn’t bring up in a causal work convo. The general rule of thumb is — if you wouldn’t share something about yourself in a conversation with your coworkers, don’t advertise it on your desk.
Headphones don’t have to just be a decorative statement piece — they’re a workplace essential.
Headphones allow you to listen to your favorite music or podcasts without disturbing others, and they help you drown out your annoying coworker who won’t stop talking about his political affiliations. Jeez, what a jerk.
And if you can only work in dead silence, you can invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to help increase your productivity.
Over time, you’re bound to accumulate a decent amount of office clutter — whether it be stacks of meaningless papers, an overload of pens and pencils, or maybe you’ve got a hefty stash of staplers that keep going missing in the office.
We always tell ourselves that we’ll get around to organizing it some day, but that day just never seems to come around. Get one step ahead of your lazy self and invest in an desk organizer. This will give you space to store your notebooks, important papers, and all of your various writing utensils.
While you’re on the organizing train, go ahead and get rid of materials that are unimportant and won’t be used. Having a clear space to work will make you feel more energetic and productive.
Decorating and showing a glimpse into our personalities is always fun, but it’s important to be conservative and tactful with what you choose to share.
Pick decorations that make you smile and feel motivated to work, but leave behind things that could be hazardous or make others feel uncomfortable. Everyone should feel safe and happy, not just you.
Now that you know how to decorate your space at work, go make yourself feel right at home…at work!