We all have different ways of expressing ourselves at work, the most obvious sign of which is how we accessorize our desks. You can tell a lot about your coworkers by how they keep their desks, but sometimes, what your desk says about you isn’t quite what you wish to convey.
Purpose driven accessories
Even knick-knacks have purpose, adding a bit of whimsy to an otherwise static office environment: a set of colorful pictures—of children, drawings, or past vacations to name a few—to remind you what’s important to you, motivational quotes that help you focus, or figurines for the fidgeter who needs the help to focus. Too many of these, however, can detract from your workspace and actually negatively affect your productivity.
Keeping to your particular personality with the right accessories and organizational tools can help you stay on target and really turn your individual space into your daytime mecca.
Mess as a visual aid
We have all worked with the person who feels that out of sight equals out of mind, so filing away their important, ongoing projects tampers with their ability to complete tasks. For this person, a great organizational caddy with open slots for files and papers could be the perfect accessory. Everything on their plate is still visible but tidy, with the added bonus of taking up less desk real estate.
Another option is a series of specific, task-related and color coded notepads. These will let the employee know what’s pending, what needs more brainstorming, and they can help prioritize time sensitive tasks. This can mitigate the sense of being lost when the actual project is either electronically stored or filed away in a cabinet.
For the creativity driven, the mess can be inspiring, but perhaps the visual representation of an idea is better suited to having a display board instead of piles of notes and Post-Its scattered willy nilly. There are plenty of options from cork boards, chalk boards, framed dry-write boards and more.
Motivational posters covering every inch of the walls can be great little boosts for the person who needs a little jumpstart for their day. However, many motivational sayings are cheesy, and often oversimplify the day-to-day mountains employees climb. It can also seem to others that you aren’t a self-starter.
One option is reducing the size of your motivational pictures using a hanging multi-framed piece such as this one. With room for a plethora of different photos, you can mix and match and change them as frequently as you need to, but they’re smaller and more contained. Perhaps also a daily tear-away desk calendar with a phrase or sentiment can provide the private motivation necessary to jumpstart the creative juices. There are even apps for that, just in case you’re on the go and don’t have a static workstation with your nameplate.
Some people need their gadgets and tchotchkes to keep them sane throughout the workday. For people who work very difficult or emotionally taxing jobs, these little trinkets can be necessary to help them stay grounded. They’re great conversation starters, and they can tell a lot about the person displaying the collectibles. However, too many figurines and keepsakes can seem childish, inviting The Powers That Be to take you less seriously.
Freestanding shelves with space for your souvenirs will help keep them off your worktop and out of the way of your projects while providing boundaries that hold the quantity in check. They’re still accessible for fidgeting, but they’re much neater and can be appreciated just as easily. Your superhero or ceramic dragon collection will have a home while still saving your sanity without distracting from the workplace fires you battle every day.
But containing them may not be something you want, so why not make the things you use everyday speak to your personality? Unique but useful office supplies can be found everywhere, such as themed pen holders, pens, and sticky notes. This keeps the clutter down while still letting your interests out to play.
Accessories are as personal as the people using them. They can be fun, whimsical, practical, and beautiful all in the same breath. With these ideas, you can make your desk space an ideal place to help you focus and have fun. After all, our offices are our second homes, and they should be as welcoming as we can make them.