According to Talent Works International, 85 percent of office workers are dissatisfied with their workplace. At the same time, research shows that a strong office design makes workers 33 percent happier. Those are some sobering statistics – so many employees don’t like their work environment.
So what would make being in your office easier? Besides unlimited breaks and free snacks in the lunchroom? A welcoming and attractive office can do wonders for morale and feelings of wellbeing when you’re trying to get some work done. The great news is that you don’t have to spend a lot either. Stick with some of these budget friendly ideas with some help from Lend Genius and you’ll have a beautiful office in no time.
1. Warm Lighting is Nice to Have
Nothing kills productivity more than flickering fluorescent lights and you can really create a warm and welcoming environment in your office with some alternatives. Try using desk lamps or floor lamps to cast light where you need it. There are lots of options to choose from so it’s easy to find lighting that blends with your other decor choices.
As much as possible, invest in LED lights and other types of lighting that can help save energy. If your office is gifted with a good location, maximize the natural light during the daytime. In fact, natural light is packed with vitamin D, an essential daily vitamin that can help increase your energy and productivity.
2. Scatter Some Plants Around
Plants have a restorative effect on the people around them, so it makes sense that they’re a great addition to your workplace environment. Nature refreshes the mind so it goes to follow that having plants in your office will help you feel better just by looking at them. If you have windows and natural light, real plants are wonderful. If not, you can achieve the same effect by using realistic looking plastic plants. Just be sure to keep the plants clean so there isn’t any dust flying all over your office.
3. Use Air Fresheners
Research conducted by the Takasago Corporation found that when employees are exposed to certain scents, they made fewer mistakes while working. So having an air freshener or diffuser in your office can be beneficial for productivity and accuracy. Testing found that the best scents are lemon, jasmine and lavender, with the most pronounced benefits coming from lemon. For that reason, you can also try scattering dishes of freshly cut lemons throughout your office.
Aside from getting the benefits of scent, air fresheners and purifiers can improve the indoor air quality in your office. If your office doesn’t particularly have the best air circulation, using these air purifiers can enhance airflow and oxygen circulation. Air purifiers can also trap allergens and air contaminants that can cause various health conditions when you’re exposed for a long time.
4. Company Touches
Making your office something special involves creating a look that’s all your own. Some quirky little touches will give you pride in your space and makes for an office that doesn’t look like all the others. For example, many offices will paint a mural wall with their logo on it. It’s a bright reminder and something you won’t see anywhere else. You might also consider some wall art that isn’t run of the mill ocean scenes. Put up something kitschy and different so your office isn’t like all the others.
5. Use Brand Colors
Instead of sticking with the same old bland and boring beige or white for your office, consider using brand colors. Putting up a couple of coats of paint won’t cost you too much, but can completely transform the space you work in. If you have a brand that you use, consider using it to boost motivation and keep you on track with our goals. If not, choose a bright and cheerful color that will help you stay productive and make you feel happy anytime you’re in your office working.
6. Make it Comfortable
If you run an online business or website, chances are you’re lucky enough to work from home or you are in your office by yourself. So that means you aren’t stuck with the standard office chair that most employees have to use. Choose a chair that’s comfortable so that you can focus on your work instead of how unpleasant it is to sit in the chair you’ve been given. You could put a slipcover over a dining room chair or simply pull up an armchair that’s soft and plush. Just make sure it’s the right height so that working at your desk doesn’t cause pain and discomfort in your back and shoulders.
Your office chair isn’t the only furniture that you can make comfortable. Adding ergonomic furniture in your office can significantly reduce your physical stress and pain at work, thus fueling yourself to be more productive and accomplishing more in a work day. Some of the most effective ergonomic furniture include standing desks, mouse and keyboard rests, and footrests.
If you still don’t have a budget for ergonomic furniture, you can still make your office a bit more comfortable with the help of these tips:
- Keep items that you typically use within reach.
- Raise your monitor at eye level by placing it on top of a ream of paper.
- Keep your posture and form neutral. Avoid slouching.
- Perform simple stretches occasionally, especially during breaks.
- Don’t push yourself past your limit.
7. Get Creative with Storage
Decorating your own office can be really fun and gives you the chance to display your personality. Storage solutions are a great way to show off who you are without going broke. Use painted vases to store pens and pencils and woven baskets for paperwork and extra printer supplies. Covered ceramic dishes make a convenient and attractive place to keep paper clips and other small office supplies. You can often find these things at secondhand stores for just a few dollars.
8. Use Chalkboard Paint
Instead of the usual white board to keep track of your calendar and to do list, consider putting up some chalkboard paint. It’s inexpensive and easy to use. You can create a border with chair rail or another color of paint. Then use chalk to write your important things down. Use different colors for your various notes and have some fun with fonts and size.
9. Put Together a Sitting Area
If space allows, you can move a couple of pieces of furniture from other parts of the house to make a comfortable area for meeting with clients or to sit back and do work that doesn’t require your computer. You could even eat lunch here if you want to. A couch and coffee table are ideal. Make it your own with brightly colored throw pillows and some additional wall art. Inviting people into your space will be so much fun if you have a cute place to sit down and discuss business.
10. Put Down a Large Rug
You’d be surprised at how easy it is to define your workspace if you use a rug under your desk. Even if you don’t do anything else in your office, you’ll be amazed at how much different it looks with just a new rug. A rug creates definition in your space, which is especially important if your office in a space shared with other purposes, such as a spare bedroom or dining room.
You can spend a lot of money setting up your office, but if you run an online business or website, chances are you don’t have a huge budget to work with. Making changes is possible, but you should create a budget you are comfortable with and be sure you stick with it throughout your decorating process. With some affordable changes, you’ll create an office you love being in and that motivates you to get your work done efficiently. It won’t be long until you’re part of the 15 percent who love their workspace.
Mónica Rodríguez is a writer, art historian, and editor at LendGenius. She specializes in Art History, Art Conservation, History, Literature, Finance, Tech, Wellness, and Travel. In her free time, she’s usually roaming the halls of the museum or the local bookstore surrounded by stacks of books.