Adding touches of your personality can make your workspace feel more inviting and comforting during the workday, but you might be surprised to know it can also boost your productivity. Research reveals that employees perform better when they sit in areas adorned with displays of their identity than in undecorated areas.
A more personalized workspace also contributes to enhanced work relationships. Glimpses of your interests can serve as conversation starters, increasing the likelihood that you’ll create better relationships with your coworkers.
Peter Brodsky, Area Vice President of Staples Furniture Group, recommends these tips to create a workspace that is truly yours.
Find Your Inspiration
The first — and most important — aspect of adding more personality to your work area is to think about what inspires you and exhibit items that reflect that.
“Put up pictures, memorabilia or other things that remind you what you’re working for or why you are doing what you do,” says Brodsky. “Showcase what you are passionate about to bring a more humanistic element to your space.”
Start by decorating with intention. Decide what inspires you and create a space in your desk area or office to display it. Try making a focal point for your inspirational elements. For example, dedicate one wall to putting up pictures of what you’re passionate about and what you’re working toward. You can put a large frame around it to make it stand out even more.
Mix in Color
Most offices feature neutral tones, so Brodsky suggests adding color to your personal space.
Although you likely won’t be able to choose your exact desk or chair, you can adorn them with color. For instance, find a colorful non-slip desk mat underneath your computer to make your area pop even more.
Next, add smaller items in your preferred color or pattern, such as a stapler, scissors, paper sorters, penholders, tape dispenser, notepads and planners or desk calendars.
A small rug or colorful chair mat can make the floor of your area more fun. Try a cool lamp to add soft lighting and minimize overhead fluorescent glare. Analog or digital display clocks can enhance the coziness of your workspace, since they are available in a wide variety of colors and themes. Plants add literal and figurative life to your workspace, too. Choose plants that don’t drop too many leaves and that can be left over the weekend without water. Low-maintenance greenery like succulents works well in offices.
Calming items are also a great addition and can create a relaxing and soothing environment.
“Sometimes, a calming décor element can help you stay focused and centered,” Brodsky says. “Try putting up a picture of a landscape or print that evokes a sense of peace and tranquility.”
Avoid Distracting Items
A more personalized workspace should not only make you happy, but also be free of distractions (like noise or flashing lights) that keep your colleagues from getting their work done.
“When something becomes distracting, it can have a negative impact, not only on your work, but also on how your team members stay focused in their spaces,” Brodsky says. “For example, you might find that bouncing a small ball helps you regain focus, but it can throw off and frustrate other employees near your area.”
Creating and maintaining a personalized workspace is not only about displaying your identity. It’s also about keeping your work area organized. Make sure you set up your ideal organizational system first and then find ways to add your personality to you build your ideal space.