Working extended hours in an office can be tedious, especially if the space isn't conducive to comfort and says nothing about your personality. Workplaces can offer employees some flexibility with this, but people who work from home have the advantage of sprucing things up with paint colors, layouts, furniture, and accessories of their choosing. Either way, putting some effort into making your surroundings more fun and home-like can make your workdays more pleasant and productive.
Spruce Up a Company Work Office
Whether you have a cubicle or a larger on-site work office, bringing in some personal touches can spruce things up to your liking. It's always a great idea to verify with a supervisor first to make sure that what you have in mind doesn't go against company policies, just in case. Here is some inspiration, courtesy of The Muse:
1. Plants: This idea isn't new, but many office workers shy away from plants because they don't like taking care of them. Succulents like aloe and cacti are good choices because they don't need much care. You only need to water these once a week or so, and they don't need a lot of light. Joy Us Garden mentions other low-maintenance options like pothos, snake plants, and the pretty peace lily.
2. Pops of Color: You might not be able to paint these office walls, but you can incorporate some color in other ways. Ditch that boring old coffee mug and grab a bright, colorful new one that says something about your personality. You can also bring in a warm, colorful blanket to keep on your knees and shoulders when your boss won't turn up the heat! Also, ask your manager if it's okay to order rainbow-colored paper clips the next time; pastel-colored post-its and tie-dye mousepads are other options, too, if you like those.
3. Bring in Some Tchotchkes: If you have the freedom to bring in your own office accessories, you might want to shop for things like decorative bookends, stick-on decorations for your wall calendar, and decorative boxes where you can store things. Should there be a wall by your desk, you could try hanging up a sturdy wire, hooking on some clips, and displaying pictures of friends, family, pets, or scenery.
4. Shared Spaces: If your office has a conference room, community kitchen, lunchroom, or snack wall, you can also give these new lives. NBC News recommends modern touches, like displaying snacks in vintage wine crates or apple baskets. You can bring plants in and even use them as room dividers. You could install a ceiling track, hang up some ropes, and place hanging plants at different heights; you can secure them to the ground with hooks on floor tracks. How cool is that!
5. Opening Things Up: A big trend with commercial office spaces is the evolution from closed spaces and cubicles to open workspaces. Kirei explains that this makes work environments look less industrial and more welcoming, which in turn makes them more conducive to productivity. The new normal has relaxed atmospheres with more comfortable seating, large windows, colorful carpeting, and furniture. The writers at Kirei share photos of oversized purple chairs, work lounges, and playful wallpaper patterns.
Spruce Up a Home Office
The idea of opening up space doesn't only apply to commercial offices; Oprah Daily writes that you don't need to confine a home office to a room with a door. Many people make do with attics, basement corners, and even closets. Making the most of what is there is key to a great home office environment.
1. Smaller Areas: With smaller setups, you may need to downsize the furniture. Use your horizontal and vertical space by hanging bulletin boards, cubbyholes, shelves, and hanging file folders on the wall. Corner desks also work well when you have limited room. If there will be two people working, get a long desk and set up a mini-office on either side.
2. Wall Organizers: Shop for ones with magnetic plates, which attach to magnetic surfaces and mounting strips. These are perfect for stashing paperwork, small plants, and writing implements. Some even come with integrated dry eraser boards.
3. Standing Desks: Save your neck, arms, back, and legs with a standing desk. There are many health benefits with these; they decrease pain and reduce blood pressure, for starters. This modern office furniture can be one large piece that sits on the floor or a smaller desktop version. You can start seated in a chair and when you're ready to switch, push a button (you can create pre-set heights), and the working surface will rise to where you want it.
4. Doing Double Duty: If your home office space needs to be shared, a daybed could convert the space into a guest bedroom or office. Use the daybed as a couch to work or relax on, and offer it to friends and family when they stay over. If you have kids currently in school, you can even designate some of your office space as a homework room for them.
5. Add Some Color: Brightening your office with attractive colors is never a bad idea, as long as it's not too distracting. It doesn't have to be the walls, either; you can keep them neutral and paint the top of your desk in an appealing, bold coral color. You can also switch out your curtains, paint over an old filing cabinet, or get colorful accessories. HGTV explains that the trending paint colors for 2022 include Pantone's Veri Peri, Sherwin-Williams' Evergreen Fog, HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams Aleutian (a soft blue-gray), and Glidden's new and green Guacamole.
6. Deck(orate) the Walls: No more "Honey, I hate that picture!" Since your office space is not always shared with others, you have more freedom to choose art to your liking only. You should choose a statement piece that speaks to you; it doesn't have to match your paint color or furniture. Look for something that you can't stop looking at, and it will help you relax and even meditate when you need a break.
7. Clutter-Free: Minimalist spaces are also on-trend now and can be great for encouraging creativity. If you're lucky enough to have a lovely view, place a desk in front of it and keep the walls bare. When this isn't an option, you may want to consider installing floor-to-ceiling shelving to keep yourself more organized.
8. Decorative Items: To make a home office feel homey and welcoming, treat it like any other room by adding some fun decorative items. You can find some beautiful floor and desk lamps, vases, and pillows, or you could add some coasters or lean an antique bicycle against a wall. Feel free to mix colors and patterns. Whatever looks and feels good to you is fine. These details can make a difference when you're the boss!
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