I just started a new job and I want to personalize my cubicle. My older sister thinks that I should leave things bare, but I really want to feel at home in my office. What is your position on employees decorating their cubes? And do you have any suggestions for decor that isn’t unprofessional?
Love the blog, my sister and I read every day. Sincerely, Camille
First off, your office is not your home, but I do understand wanting to feel comfortable in your cube or office. You’ll be spending a lot of time there so it’s only natural that you want to decorate it to your taste.
That being said, I believe that everything you bring in needs to fit in one copier paper box. Life is uncertain, and you may need or want to make a clean getaway. It sounds morbid, but when your time in your office is over, you don’t want to spend days packing up.
Are there exceptions to the one box rule? Sure. Wall art doesn’t pack so well, neither do plants (succulents are nice). I also make an exception for professionals who receive a budget to decorate. But if you’re in a cube or a small office, less is better.
As for the type of decor, I like to keep it clean and elegant. I think Cost Plus World Market has lovely office pieces. Restoration Hardware sells some great storage boxes. I also wouldn’t miss One Kings Lane or Poppin for office decor ideas.
Functional pieces that are also decorative are a great idea. My former coworker Virginia had a lovely wood block print calendar on her desk that was styled like this one from Etsy. Other ideas include a decorative paperweight, some agate bookends, or a little tray for odds and ends.
Further, when you’re talking about personal items like photos or mementos, exercise restraint. A few tasteful photos are fine (even recommended in some places), but too many can look unprofessional. Also, take a good look at what is in the photos. Pictures that include keg cups, people in swimwear, etc. are ill-advised. I once had a front desk person who kept naked photos of her grandchildren on her desk, not cool.
Lastly, regardless of how you decorate your cube or office, you should make an effort to keep it clean. On Friday before you leave, take twenty minutes to clear off any excess papers or clutter from your desk. Arrange and organize the things you need. Then, make a to-do list for the next week. This simple task makes Monday mornings easier and helps end your week on a forward-thinking note.
So do you decorate your workspace? If so, how? And what is your opinion on how much decorating should be done?