Do you dread going to work because you have to sit in a boring cubicle in your office all day? Are you looking for ways to jump-start your organization and productivity?
If you work a regular 40-hour week, you’ll be spending about 2,000 hours at the office each year. Entrepreneurs work even more, averaging about 50 hours per week for a total of 2,500 hours each year.
What you might not realize is that your office space plays a major role in your career. Depending upon how you decorate it, your office can energize you or drain you.
In this article, we’ll give you the inside scoop on how to upgrade your office on a budget. We’ll also give you some great tips about productivity and team building.
Focus on Organization
What do you envision when you think about decorated office space? In general, you’re looking for a space that feels personal and that enhances your productivity.
How do you start to create an optimized workspace? Take a look around your office. Do you have easy access to the work tools that you use every day?
One of the newest trends in office organization is using a whiteboard in meetings. They’re a great time-saver because they allow you to conceptualize quickly.
On to a new idea? Just wipe the board clean.
Any optimized office space will be organized and inspirational. Do you need a new filing cabinet or filing system?
At the end of every work week, take half an hour to go through paperwork, mail, and electronic correspondence.
Wipe down your desk and put all of your active files in the same spot. Make a quick to-do list for the next week, and go enjoy your weekend.
Bring in Some Greenery
After you’ve organized your space, it’s time to raise your fun factor. Wouldn’t you like to have some beautiful plants on your desk?
Plants are at the top of the list of cool things to put on your desk at work, and they’re a great conversation starter when you have clients in for meetings.
If you’re not a plant person, you can fudge this step by getting a few artificial plants. Nobody ever has to know!
If you’ve got a green thumb, on the other hand, it’s a great idea to buy some plants for your office. Studies consistently show that plants boost morale and productivity, sometimes as much as 15 percent!
Which plants are the best for your office? It depends upon how much natural light you have and how good you are at remembering to water plants.
Cacti and succulents don’t need a lot of attention, and you can leave them for a few weeks when you go on vacation.
When you water office plants, just make sure that they’re well away from any electronics.
Upgrade Your Seating
While we’re on the subject of cool stuff for your office, how about an ergonomic keyboard or chair?
If you’re used to using a traditional keyboard, you should be able to adjust to an ergonomic one. They look a bit different but provide a much more comfortable typing experience.
Basically, your keyboard is separated into two parts, one for each hand. Once you get used to using an ergonomic keyboard, you’ll never want to go back!
Don’t forget to upgrade your chair! You have a few options for your desk chair. Do you want to get a chair with enhanced back support?
If you’re always bringing in pillows and gel seating pads from home, it’s probably time to get a new desk chair.
One popular seating option is pretty unconventional. People are using exercise balls to engage their core muscles, improve their balance, and deal with back issues.
If you sit for long periods of time, try to get up and stretch at least once per hour.
Add a Splash of Color
As you’re upgrading your office space, don’t forget to add some color. If you have a cubicle, see if you can put up some fabric or removable wallpaper.
You can also put up pictures of your family, vacations, or even motivational posters. Anything that will help you feel comfortable and excited to get to work.
Another great way to decorate your office is to bring in a few books from home. Reading a few pages is a great way to make sure you don’t strain your eyes from looking at your computer.
Need some beautiful color on a budget? You might want to consider custom phone cases.
If you spend a lot of time on your phone, you want to make sure that it won’t break. You can check out your color options right here.
In general, try to keep to a single color theme. If you have a red stapler, work with that and build from there.
You can bring in red picture frames, a red sweater, and even a red coffee cup!
Make Over Your Kitchen
Speaking of coffee, has your office coffee maker seen better days? Does your office kitchen make you cringe a little bit when you walk in?
There are a few steps that you can take to upgrade your kitchen as you decorate your desk.
First, you can bring in a variety of coffee mugs. You can find a great selection at any thrift store.
They don’t have to match, but it’ll perk up your kitchen if you buy mugs that are all the same color.
Another way to bring your office kitchen into the 21st century is by wrapping the cabinet doors. You can use wrapping paper or fabric.
Again, you don’t have to spend a lot of money to unify the look and feel of your kitchen.
If your office kitchen is beyond hope, see if you can put a coffee station in your office.
Build Team Spirit with Decorating Competitions
If you’re a manager, you know how important it is to invest in your employees. Investing in your employee’s health and happiness is key to the success of your company.
One way to build your team is to have seasonal decorating competitions. You can offer prizes and have a small party for your employees once every few months.
If your company wants employees to keep their workspaces clear, maybe you can give everyone a small section of a wall in the break room or kitchen.
You could also designate parts of the office where people can keep their plants. Maybe the office kitchen has more natural light?
Decorating may seem a little bit frivolous, but it could be a quick and easy way to bump up those retention figures.
If your company has the budget, you could even allow your employees to pick the wall colors for their offices.
The Walt Disney Company reportedly gives new employees a catalog and an empty office, allowing them to decorate their space any way they would like.
What would work best at your office?
How to Upgrade Your Office Space at Home
If you’re working from home, of course, you can decorate any way you’d like. If you frequently have video calls with clients, however, you may want to designate part of your office for those calls.
In general, you’re looking for a background that won’t distract from your face on the video. You can hang up wallpaper or have a colorful background, but make a few practice calls so you know what you look like on video.
The problem with working from home is that it’s so personal and comfortable, you may be tempted to procrastinate. If you find yourself getting distracted, you can get a timer and set it for half-hour increments.
If you have a home office that doubles as a bedroom or dining room, try to use an office chair and desk so you feel more like you’re at work.
You can work in your pajamas, of course, but try to put on professional clothing in case you have an unexpected client call.
To renovate a home office on a budget, focus on comfortable seating and ample storage. You can always paint or upgrade your desk at a later time.
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More Budget-Friendly Decorating Ideas
No matter what your budget, you can renovate your office space. Did you know that you can buy whiteboard paint and chalkboard paint?
If you’re looking for creative employee morale boosters, you can paint one wall in your office with chalkboard paint. Every day, your employees can fill it with great ideas, and then you can wipe it for a professional look in front of clients.
If you want to make a big impact on a small budget, go ahead and upgrade your mouse pads. There are some pads now that have gel supports for the wrist.
That’s perfect for a long day of typing.
Looking for more marketing, sales, and startup ideas? We have a wide range of articles on everything from building customer relationships to optimizing the negotiation process.
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