Personalizing Your Desk and Office Space

For a lot of people, sitting in a bland cubicle can really ruin their day. If you are basically required to sit at the same place for 8 hours (or potentially more) just to earn a living, the least you can do is to spice things up and make your work space aesthetically pleasing. Doing this not only will help you to be more motivated and energetic during work, but also can help facilitate conversations with your coworkers, leading to better engagement and overall better working conditions. But there are still definite do’s and do not’s when it comes to personalizing your desk space. Here we’ll give all the tips that you could ever need to personalize your desk the right way.

First off, it is important to consider what sort of desk space you are working with. If you are in a generic cubicle, especially at a large company, it is important that you don’t make any permanent modifications to your cubicle, such as painting anything or breaking down certain parts of your work area. I know that sounds super obvious but so many people don’t think about the permanence of their office personalization, and when they make the mistake of modifying their office space permanently, it can be quite embarrassing to get that call from HR asking you to fix your work space to comply with the company’s standards.

If you are in your own private office, the same rules generally apply, although you may have a bit more leeway to make more permanent changes. But nothing too permanent like painting or anything like that. Adding paintings or other photos to your wall may be an option, as well as adding your own personal furniture. And when you are in a start-up, you often have even more leniency when it comes to personalizing your work area, even more so than if you were a high-ranking executive in a traditional company. As always though, make sure to discuss any major changes with HR that you aren’t 100% sure about.

Now because major changes typically come with approval from HR or someone else, we won’t focus too much on those sorts of modifications. Instead we’ll focus on much simpler ways to personalize your desk space. The easiest way to spice up your work space is to add posters and other types of artwork to your cubicle. Most cubicles have walls that are made out of a cloth like material, allowing you to puncture them with pins without any long-term damage to the walls themselves. Or even if you don’t have these sorts of cubicles, you can just as easily tape your artwork to the walls. However, if you go this route, make sure that you find a surface that will not cause long-term damage. For example, any surfaces that are painted on are a bad place to tape things, as the paint can very easily come off when you finally remove them. Finding a metal or plastic location to tape your artwork is the most ideal because those types of surfaces are a lot less likely to have paint or other residue come off with the tape.

When talking about artwork, it is also a good idea not to totally overdo it. For example, rather than having large canvases or banners lining every inch of your cubicle walls, keep it simpler with much smaller posters and the like. Although you want to add some flair to your workplace environment, it is first and foremost a place of work, and so your personalization should reflect that in terms of the extent to which you personalize your space. Along the same lines, make sure to keep your artwork appropriate for the workplace. No vulgar phrases or sexually explicit depictions. Again, this should be obvious, but it often happens where people love their poster so much that they forget that the context for which they are planning to place it is inappropriate, to say the least.

Other than posters and other sorts of artwork that can be placed on your walls, there is also pieces of art or just random objects in general that help add some personality to your desk space. The biggest example of this is a bobble head of some sort. It can be of one of your favorite athletes or even a famous actor. Whatever bobble head you have can help to convey your own personal interests, which is the entire point of personalizing your workspace in the first place. But bobble heads are just the first of many objects that you can place somewhere along your desk. A big thing that people like to put are portraits or photos of their family members such as their spouse or their children. Or if you have any sort of sculpture or other art piece, whether it be your own creation or that of your kids, you can just as easily place it at your desk. In reality, whatever you personally like will work, meaning that the possibilities are endless.

Having said all of that though, there is one key thing to remember when dealing with accessories that add flair to your workspace, which applies specifically to people who work in public cubicles. For these people, it is important to remember that no workplace is completely secure from workplace theft. Even if your work building is absolutely secure, you can’t stop people who work within the building to steal whatever is lying around your desk. Now obviously work-related items like critical documents or the like are of the highest priority, but in the context of this article, it is important to remember that anything that you have in your cubicle that you are using to personalize your work space is at risk of being stolen. Now that’s not to say that any sort of theft is even likely. But it does mean that you should keep this in mind when selecting what to leave out in your work space. Simply put, if you aren’t willing to lose it (whether from a financial standpoint or a sentimental one), you shouldn’t be placing it out in the open, no matter how much you want to use it to personalize your desk space.

Your desk is your home away from home, and one that should reflect who you are as a person, which is exactly why it is so important for you to personalize your desk in whatever way you feel necessary, helping to differentiate it from all of the other desks in your office. While it may seem like a small and inconsequential aspect of your work life, having a personalized desk does nothing but good, not just for your work productivity but also for your overall well-being while at work. By following our tips and going out and personalizing your desk to make it your very own, we promise that you will see tangible improvements that go so much further than just the aesthetic aspect of a beautified desk alone! So go out there and personalize your desk and office space today!