I’ve had two different cubicles at my current job, and to start out, they were both far from inspiring. As the sole marketing person with the company, it’s important to have an inspiring work space so I don’t get bogged down by all of the grey and white blah-ness around the rest of the office.
It took me a few tries, but eventually I came up with a work space that I truly find inspiring. So, how did I do it, and how do you make yourself an inspiring work space?
Don’t Be Afraid to Decorate
The first few times I started hanging stuff up on my cubicle walls, I got a little self-conscious. The people around me were sales reps who weren’t really in the office very often. Sure, they had photos of their kids tacked up, but they weren’t really “decorated” per se.
Eventually, I got over it. I’ve got to spend 40 hours per week (or more) in my cubicle, so I wanted to make it my own. I played around with a ton of different options until I found one I really liked. Some were too cluttered, others too sparse. It just depends on what an inspiring work space means to you.
Make It Comfortable
You’re going to be spending a lot of time at your desk, so it’s important to make it comfortable! I brought my own Keurig a few months ago and love having fresh coffee at my fingertips. It’s a great way to take a quick mental break without having to get up and go to the kitchen, potentially being distracted by coworkers. (Not that that’s always a bad thing!)
I’ve also got a pair of simple black flats to change into whenever my feet get tired of heels. I’ve been pining over IKEA’s sheepskin throw, but at $30 (while on a tight budget), it’s on the never-ending “someday” list.
Add Some Color
My cubicle walls are extremely boring. They’re all grey, with a grey desktop, grey filing cabinets, and grey carpet. Color was definitely in order.
I decided to get the turquoise Keurig K250. It’s my favorite color, and it really brightens up the space. I then added some DIY color-blocked coasters and bright art prints I’ve received through Happy Mail, and it’s really made everything a lot cheerier.
Give It Some Life
I’ve had a couple different desk plants I’ve tried to keep alive throughout the past two years. I’m not very good at it, but that doesn’t mean I don’t love my yellow, pink, and red cacti that hang out on my desk. It helps to bring some life to your work space.
Next up I’m going to try these bright terrariums and kill two birds with one stone! I found a globe fish bowl that would be perfect for it.
Lighten It Up
My current cubicle is in a part of the office that used to be a small warehouse. Read: no windows. It gets super dreary, especially in the winter, so I’ve worked to add more light to my desk. There’s an extra light under my upper filing cabinet, and I always make sure to turn in on as soon as I get into the office.
I also covered part of the boring grey cubicle walls with an old dry erase board my boss gave me. It’s white, so the light reflects right off of it and brightens the whole space up. Plus, I’m able to make notes on it whenever I want! You could also bring a nice lamp into the office to lighten everything up, depending on how much desk space you have.
Play Some Tunes (But Don’t Be a Dick)
I love playing music at work, especially on Friday afternoon. But it’s important to be courteous to those around you. I’m sure not everyone would enjoy my favorite African band, so I either keep it really low or plug in headphones.
Create a Pandora station for all different types of moods (as long as your office allows access to Pandora) and keep the music going! But just make sure you don’t start singing out loud… awkward.
Change It Up
This is one of the most important parts of creating an inspiring work space: keep changing it. Once you’ve had the same environment for a while, you stop noticing it. It becomes “blah,” just like the rest of the office. So cycle through artwork, change up the layout of your desk, and freshen everything up as needed. Don’t keep it the same for too long!
As always, these recommendations depend on your office culture. We’ve got a pretty lenient culture, so all of these things are A-OK with my boss. Check with your boss before decking your desk out too crazily!
How do you keep an inspiring work space? I’d love your tips! Let me know in the comments!