How To Turn That Drab Office Into A Calm Workspace
Is your office uninspiring or, even worse, stressing you out? Especially in the early stages of our careers, it is unlikely that we will have total control over our workspace. We might get stuck in the middle gray cubicle, a cramped work station, or in a tiny office without windows. Even if you have a decent space, you may still feel that it is drab and not enjoyable to be in.
Luckily, there are several tweaks that will work in any workspace to help you feel calm, focused, and more productive than ever. Let’s take a look.

How To Turn That Drab Office Into A Calm Workspace

1. Keep a Clear Desk, but Personalize It

In order to feel calm and focused at your desk, you don’t want too many distractions pulling your attention away from your work. Your best bet is to keep only whatever it is you are working on in front of you, with ample space to spread out reference materials as needed.
At the same time, don’t make your desk space too impersonal! (We imagine that an office space that is occupied yet completely devoid of personal items would belong to that of a sociopath.) Add a few knick-knacks that make you feel good, such as a framed picture or decorative containers that can hold pens and paperclips. If you have a larger desk, you can go for more items, but be sure to blend pretty and motivational items with functional choices.

2. You Can Never Have Too Much Storage Space

The key to creating a calm environment is to reduce clutter. Storage is critical to maintaining a clean desktop. If you have a larger workspace or office, opt for some open shelving. Make sure to keep the shelves well-organized and mix in decorative items for optimal effect.
If you are working in a cubicle or smaller workstation, it’s time to get creative. Choose file trays and desktop storage that is both functional and beautiful. There are plenty of stunning file boxes that can be kept on the floor and pulled onto your desk as needed.

3. Organize!

Organization may not be your thing, but it’s crucial to creating a functional and beautiful space. For those of you that love to organize, setting up a great system to begin with will also keep you from using tidying tasks as a means to procrastinate with work. Use drawer inserts to keep office supplies and files in a tidy order.
Take the time to label files in neat handwriting and make a habit of returning items to their respective places. Periodically go through your documents to transfer older items that are not as important to an archive area, keeping current documents on hand and easier to find.
One last thing, though: don’t go TOO crazy with organizing. This can be 1) a good way to procrastinate and 2) a fantastic way to forget where you put what. Keep a list of “what goes where” so you know where you actually stored your stuff, and opt for a special time to reorganize and declutter. An hour every Thursday is probably a good choice.
[RELATED: 4 Ways to Create a Habitat for Happiness at Work]

4. Add Some Green

Adding some plants to your office space can go a long way toward creating a calm environment. Adding greenery to office spaces has been proven to reduce employee stress and to improve air quality, so go ahead and get a plant for your desk. Opt for an easy-on-the-eyes terrarium. Minimal care options great for office spaces include aloe, spider plants, and succulents. If you have a larger office, consider adding a larger plant such as a ficus tree.
Working in a basement? Or maybe an office with one tiny, dingy window behind your desk? Try a pothos plant – they thrive in low lighting and grow beautiful vines, making them a great option for shelving. If you need to put it on your desk, try using a pedestal to elevate it.

5. Splurge on a Chair

Considering that you spend a lot of your time sitting, you want to make sure you have a comfortable chair. Being uncomfortable can contribute to feelings of stress.
If you work for a larger company, you may be able to request a chair swap if the one you currently use does not suit you. If your company will not go for it, it may be an investment worth making to improve your personal work environment.
Many office chairs are bland in appearance, but there are affordable ones on the market that also add style to your space.

6. Bring Your Personality In

Be intentional. With every change you make to your space, ask yourself if it is reflective of your own style and who you are. The goal is to create a space that you feel comfortable in – so pick items and storage solutions that you love. By using this filter, even changing a few items will go a long way to changing your drab office into a space that you enjoy.

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