Tips to Change your Work Cube from Drab to Fab
There are endless statistics out there about how much time one spends at work or in an office-like environment. If you are someone like me, a décor freak, who enjoys adding adornment wherever and whenever I can, a cubicle can be a ready canvas. If you’re someone who enjoys open workspaces or ultra–collaborative environments with no physical barriers, you might see a cubicle as a way of being shut out or separate from your coworkers, but for the sake of this article let’s delve deeper into the fun and creative aspect of a cubicle and focus on the positive…
So: I love my job. I love the corporate environment. I love succulents, and Gustav Klimt, and pictures of latte art. I love that I feel enthused and ready to go whenever I dock my laptop and start my work day. I ooze positivity and focus when I sit in my adorable cube and make a to-do list for the day. This feeling of contentment stems from my comfort in being completely and entirely myself in the work place. I challenge you to do and feel the same!
Some easy ways to decorate in a personal way: who doesn’t love to display pictures of their family? A funny meme that proves how utterly clever you are? An award of some kind for the whole office to see? A nice orchid, perhaps? Some form of representation of your favorite sports team? The list could go on and on. A cubicle may seem monotonous and boring, but in reality it can be a “home away from home.”
In the workplace, and in every aspect of your life, you should feel free and confident in showing your personality or making something your own. For instance, my cubicle is decked out in Pinterest quotes, pictures of my favorite flower (the adorable peony), puppies in sunglasses, photo booth strips with friends, postcards with my favorite artwork etc. Why so much you may ask? All of these things bring me joy.
After all, work is work, and isn’t always fun. This is a reality of which I’m sure you’re very aware. Aren’t we all? If I have a bad call, or make a mistake that in that moment feels like the end of the world, I look at my ‘positive vibes’ banner or Kristin Wiig giving me a thumbs-up, and in an odd way I feel better. I feel ready to take the next call or make the next mistake.
A Well-Decorated Cubicle Can be an Ice-Breaker
Another positive aspect of cubicle decor is flattery from random passersby. Everyone loves a compliment. Literally everyone. Pictures or quirky knickknacks in one’s workspace are not only fun but also conversation-starters. Example: last week I met with the IT guru in my office (bless him) and he noticed I had an embarrassingly large number of Audrey Hepburn pictures hanging on my cube walls. He began telling me about how much he loved her in My Fair Lady as a kid, and from that point on, I knew I’d met a kindred spirit. How else would we have found out about our mutual love of Audrey had it not been for my desk décor choices?
The idea of a cubicle and the negative connotation associated with them does not need to be a reality for you. If you’re working in corporate America, you will encounter a cubicle at one point or another. Prepare now. Do some Pinterest research. Dig up old movie ticket stubs or drawings from your cute little niece. The choice is yours. Anything and everything that will make you smile is an option, and you should take advantage.
Express Yourself – Unconventional Décor Choices
Go against the grain. Bring some of your personal flair into the workplace. Do you get cold easily? Drape a fun colored or patterned blanket over your desk chair. Do you hate the fluorescent glare of your computer screen? Bring in a funky lamp to add more overhead lighting to your desk. Do certain scents keep you calm? Bring in a lavender plug-in to hide under your desk. Turn a to-do list into a visual display; this can be done using a whiteboard/chalkboard or even making a calendar of to-do’s using colorful post-its. Toss those boring push pins and go for the colorful, sparkly, uniquely shaped ones. I highly recommend looking at a local art/craft store for these. Incorporate a fun new trend like hanging Polaroid pictures on a clothes pin line, as seen on Pinterest. This is adorable and gives the traditional picture-hanging method a new twist.
Suggestions (based on first-hand experience):
- A candy bowl is always a good choice. Everyone will want to come chat with you all the time. Making more friends in the office is never a bad thing. Tip: If you’re on a diet, get candy you DON’T like!
- Some kind of plant is always nice. If this is your jam I suggest running to your local grocery store and picking up a nice succulent.
- Go nuts. Not all cubes are created equal. If you have the wall space…utilize it. Warning: You still want to your space to look professional and organized. No one wants to look like they can’t keep their space clean and neat. Walk this fine line, carefully.
- Have fun and make it fabulous!