Originally written for and published by The Haute Mess in 2016.
Picture this: It’s your first day of work at your new job. On your desk is your company-assigned computer, some sticky notes, a pencil cup, and a lamp that you’re pretty sure is broken. Pitiful is the word that comes to mind.
After the first round of introductions and a bit of paperwork, you’re left at your desk to settle in and make yourself at home – so to speak. But how can you get settled into a place that doesn’t even begin to resemble a comfort zone to you?
Your first step in creating a workspace that works for you is to determine what kind of workspace you’re working with. So take a moment to examine your surroundings – Is it a cubicle? How’s the lighting? Are you in a corner? Close to other co-workers? Directly in the path of the air vent?
Once you’ve assessed your workspace surroundings, consider these tips when making your space a little more cozy:
1) Get organized: Find a filing system that works for you. Whether it’s by topic, client, department, or level of importance, you need to find some way to organize the mass of files that you are bound to accumulate in your time spent at this job. You may never be as organized as the minimalist, yoga-freak, granola-eating twig that you sit next to, but that’s okay.
2) Manage your lighting: Whether that includes tiny, white Christmas lights all around the top of your cubicle or one of those cute lamps that is just bright enough when the lights are turned down low, good lighting will set the mood for your workspace. It’s up to you whether you like that warm, Christmas-light glow or the more direct light from a cute lamp.
3) Plant vs. no plant: Bring a bit of the outdoors indoors and embrace your inner plant slut. Liven up your desk area with a tiny table-top plant – but make sure that it’s office friendly! And you probably shouldn’t forget to water it, so set a calendar reminder for that….
4) Décor: This is the fun part. Corkboards with fun quotes, bright sticky notes (to give a little pop of color), some of your favorite framed photographs – this is an extremely important step. Don’t be afraid to show off a little bit of who you are!
5) Comfort calls: Does your office run cold? Bring a spare shawl or even a light blanket to work to wrap yourself up in when you start feeling chilly. Does your chair have awful lumbar support? (I can’t believe I’m actually at the age now where I’m worried about the lumbar support that my office chair gives me – cringe!) Bring a pillow to lean against to avoid any lower back pain! It pays to be comfortable.
Ultimately, you just want to create a space that makes it easy for you to produce your best work. So keep these tips in mind when you’re re-vamping your new (or current) workspace!