Did you know that the inventor of the cubicle, Robert Propst, lived to regret his invention?
Well, that’s a whole history lesson on it’s own.
One of the most exciting things about a corporate job is getting your own cubicle/desk/office!
Some positions don’t allow for that, for example, auditors, consultants, sales positions, commonly work remotely and therefore never get their own dedicated space.
For the rest of us, it’s another story. Here are some of my Do’s and Don’ts for decorating your long anticipated office space!
Plants are great way to bring some oxygen and greenery to your space. If you’re not a plant person, you can get a fake plant or an easy terrarium to place on your desk. In fact you can pick up a small indoor plant at grocery stores and home improvement shops that are perfect size for your desk space.
Plants include: Terrariums, Succulents, Bamboo, cactus, and air plants.
Don’t: Do not be that person that leaves their plant in the office to die while they’re out on vacation. Be sure you have a system in place for the plant to get watered and taken care of whilst you are OOO. If you aren’t able to take care of plants then don’t bring them to the office either. Plants can get bugs and cause an odor. You don’t want to be the coworker disturbing the office pH. Also, always check your office rules. Some offices do not allow pets and animals due to the nature of the business.
Calendars are a great way to display wall art and incorporate some color into your space without having to put up a bunch of pins on the walls or nailing anything to the cube area.
There are ton’s of different styles of calendars that you can choose from that will fit your space, from wall calendars, desk calendars, daily flip through calendars.
Don’t: Just be sure the images are appropriate and noncontroversial. That means no Maxim, Playboy or Firefighter of the Month calendars. You can save those for your home office. I mean whatever gets you going!
The only type of paper I condone is post its. Try to keep your desk free of paper. We are in the 21st century folks! Depending on your line of work, most office jobs are now all digital. Everything is done in Excel, Word, emails..etc. A notepad is great to keep it all organized and together if you are that person that just has to write it all down. Just be sure that by the end of the day. Your desk is all clutter free.
Don’t.. be that person that leaves the day with a mess of paper on your desk. Trust me, every office I’ve been at has THAT person. No matter how intelligent you are and how great you are at your job, people will always look down upon that person with all the paper. It makes you look unorganized and scatterbrained.
Decorations are a great way to individualize your own space at work. After all, we are spending a great majority of our time at work. At some companies, decorating your cube and personalizing it a bit shows your commitment in staying with the company. Definitely read your office and understand the culture and how your superiors have their office spaces. Bringing in a post card or magnet from your favorite vacation can be a great conversation starter and help your coworkers relate to you.
Don’t.. bring in anything inappropriate or start a collection of magnets/postcards/knickknacks on your desk. Also, a huge NO to stuff animals. We are not children anymore. Again, unless you are a teacher or your work involves working with children, I would refrain from bringing in toys.
I saved my favorite one for the finale. This one is a bit controversial… do you bring food to your desk, do you eat food at your desk… I will definitely say that having any time of candy at your desk will make you SUPER LIKABLE at work. It will definitely bring a lot of people to your desk and it’s a great way of meeting people. A small jar of candy here and then or a box of donuts or snacks every once in a while is fine.
Don’t become the snack person or the candy person at work. Once you run out of candy or snacks, people will start asking you to bring in more and reminding you that you ran out. Another issue i have with this one is that people will come to your desk leave wrappers and crumbs everywhere and leave. Again, you want to be sure you have a clean space, free of clutter and distractions. People coming to your cube for snacks will only cause more distraction and can ultimately cause you to lose that big project you wanted. No one wants to give a big project to someone who has people in their office space all the time.