You’d probably be elsewhere, but you’re at the office. Whether at a cookie-cutter cubicle or a home office in need of an update, it doesn’t help if the place is uninspiring. Fortunately, it’s not too hard to make your office into a place that makes you smile and work harder. Updating the look of your workspace can boost your productivity and mood.
Here are five of the best ways to make your space your own, whether it’s a home office or your office away from home.
Pot Some Plants
Plants are a décor element that does double duty. Potted plants add a bit of flair. You can place unique blooms and plants into eclectic pots and immediately give your office some character.
Plants actually do more than make things look nice. They also improve air quality — they’re living and breathing, after all. They also make you more patient, improve health and reduce stress.
A cluster of beautifully potted plants reminds us of the stress-free outdoors, which can provide a welcoming sense of calmness and serenity during an especially busy workday.
Let the Light In
You might not realize it, but light is important to your workday. Natural light pouring in through windows inspires us, and it is easy on our eyes. Office lighting can be a bit too low, causing you to squint and strain, experience headaches and maybe feel depressed.
If needed, try a screen-shader at work. They have options that fit over your monitor or, if you use Chrome, you can add an extension like Screen Shader that you can adjust yourself.
If you work out of your home, bring a lamp with you that glows in a way that’s both aesthetically and visually pleasing. In other words, don’t use bright white bulbs that will put a damper on your mood. Also let the light in on your own by choosing the right window treatment for your space and type of window. You could opt for roll-up blinds or curtains with tie-backs, so you can control how much light you’re getting.
Make an effort to clear up the space around you. Otherwise, you will always feel a bit stressed sitting down to work. Clutter fights your focus and your productivity. It’s stressful to look at a messy pile of papers in front of you, so make an effort to keep your area tidy.
If you work in an office, you can only control your own workspace, so try your hardest to organize everything and keep it that way. Working from home gives you more freedom to clear the room around you.
Whether you work from home or not, there are plenty of adorable and easy-to-craft organizers to make decluttering easier and more enjoyable.
Say Hello to Color
A boring, bland desk won’t make you smile. It’ll be a constant reminder that work is work, and work is boring. There’s scientific research to back this up: gray, beige and white offices leave workers feeling depressed, especially women. Take it upon yourself to create a workspace in a color that makes you feel happy and productive.
In a home office, you can have fun and experiment with colors. Blue and green are known to evoke efficiency and focus — they’re not too bright or too dark. You might find another color to be more inspiring, so don’t be afraid to paint the walls, hang art or refinish a piece of furniture in your favorite hue.
You probably can’t take a paintbrush to your workplace’s walls, but you can spice things up with your desktop décor. Make a collage of images in your favorite color or pick up a few decorative accessories — such as a pen holder, picture frame, mouse pad or post-it note holder — in the same shade. Even though they’re small details, they can make a big difference in your mood.
When you personalize your workspace with a bit of color and fun accessories, you’ll likely feel more energized and creative.
Don’t Box Yourself In
Even if you design the workspace of your dreams, you should be tethered to it all day and night. Research shows that the happiest workers have the flexibility to move around the office. Having the ability to sit, stand or even walk while you’re working is a surefire way to stay alert, focused and happy.
You might consider a standing desk in order to stay on your toes throughout the day. You can also try taking meetings on the go, walking around the office while chatting. If you’re working from home, try switching up your environment once a week. Even if you’re in love with your new office, slipping into the local coffee shop for a few hours of work will stimulate you — and the caffeine will also help.
Get to Work
With these tools, it should be easy to transform your office into a place that inspires you to work hard, do your best and enjoy life when you’re done. Now it’s time to make it happen!