If you’re going to spend eight hours a day, five days a week (and let’s be real – it’s probably more) in your workspace, it might as well be a workspace you enjoy being in. Nothing makes an already-tedious workday more unbearable than being trapped in an environment that makes you seriously contemplate giving it all up and running away to live in an ashram.
Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way. If you work from home, you have complete freedom to design whatever kind of workspace you want. And even if you don’t, more and more companies are getting wise to the importance of a well-designed, employee-friendly office. Whether you’re planning a complete overhaul or are just looking for inexpensive and easy ways to spruce things up, we’ve put together a few ideas for constructing a lively workspace that encourages creativity, inspiration and productivity.
The Basic But Key Office Pieces
These two pieces are the foundation of your workspace, so if you’re going the total overhaul route, start here.Not everyone can just throw out their desks and chairs, but if you can, then do it. Do it. Make it happen.
The first thing you think of when you picture your workspace is your desk. It may not seem like the most creative piece of furniture to design a space around, but you’d be surprised by how many options there actually are. You can go the traditional route, and opt for a wood desk with built-in drawers, or go in a more modern direction, and choose a stainless-steel worktable sans drawers. For the health conscious, there are standing desks that combat the negative effects of sitting all day.
Again, where your chair is concerned, you have a wide range of options from classic, to contemporary, to health conscious. On the classic end of the scale, you could go for the traditional, executive wood-and-leather combo (as long as it doesn’t look out of place with the rest of your workspace) or an antique, mid-century modern piece that fuels your Mad Men fantasies. If you prefer to park yourself in something high-tech and ergonomic, there are plenty of high performance work chairs like Herman Miller’s Aeron. Or you could eschew a normal chair entirely, and opt for a stability ball like an employee at an uber-hip California startup company.
Accessories For The Office
Once you’ve got the foundational pieces of your workspace settled, you can design around them. If you don’t have free rein to build your office space from the ground-up, skip the last section and start here.
Office décor doesn’t have to look corporate unless you want it to. Accessorising with table lamps or standing lamps that look like they belong in your living room adds warmth and personality to your workspace. Make a statement with something stark, metal and modern, or go bold with a splash of colour. You could even go for a candle. We have the lamps above in the D’Marge office and they’re great value.
Functional supplies don’t have to be boring. File cabinets, desk organisers, magazine files, baskets, bins and other storage units can be sleek and unassuming or eye-catching and decorative. There are classic options, retro options, modern options, upcycled options and what you can’t find, you can easily turn into a DIY project.
Here’s where you can cut loose and really play with your space. Decorate your desk with photos. Hang a vision board on your wall for inspiration. Scatter a few carefully-curated trinkets around (just be sure you don’t clutter the space). Go green and buy a terrarium. Choose paperweights, tape dispensers, pen holders, clocks and other must-have office equipment that’s unique and stylish. Add art or an area rug. Anything that enhances the individuality in your workspace is welcome.