Every once in a while, your office needs a reboot. Make your old office feel like new again by giving it a deep clean, getting organized, and adding your own personal touches. Get ready for the new year with a workspace that feels brand new, even if it’s not. Here are our tips to help you update your office space.
Nothing says ‘new’ like a nice clean workspace. Remember when you first moved into your office space and everything was sparkling clean? Since then, dust and dirt have surely accumulated, especially in those hard to reach and rarely seen nooks and crannies, like behind your desk, under your file cabinet, or on that bookshelf that’s more decorative than actually used. Start the new year off right with a bit of spring (or… winter?) cleaning.
Start by clearing everything off your desk and giving it a good wipe down with cleaning wipes or cleaning spray and a towel. Bonus points if you use disinfecting wipes/spray which might also save you from getting the flu (which is almost surely already spreading throughout your office). Do the same thing for other surfaces in your workspace like bookshelves, the top of cabinets, printers, etc. If you have access to a vacuum, tackle the dust and dirt behind and underneath your office furniture. Maybe do it with your eyes closed so you don’t have to face the hair balls and dust bunnies that you’ve been rooming with lately.
Before you start putting everything back on your desk, think about what you really need within reach 24/7. If it’s not something you use every day, find a place for it in your file cabinet or on a shelf to keep your desk as clear as possible. If you don’t have a good place to store your office supplies, get yourself a mobile ped to keep everything you need within reach but off your desktop.
Empty out your storage spaces and purge what you no longer need. Stacks of papers from a project long completed… mystery charging cords that don’t work with any of your current devices… a second stapler (you do NOT need two staplers)… Be real with yourself about what you actually need and force yourself to clear the clutter, even if it’s typically out of sight.
If the underside of your desk is a jumble of cords and cables, twisted together and hanging every which way, it’s time to do some cable management. Install a cable trough to the underside of the worksurface to run cables from your desktop equipment to one end of the desk. A trough gives you tons of space to keep cables tucked up under the worksurface without worrying about keeping them tightly together. Add a cable chain or sleeve to get the cables from the trough to the nearest outlet or a power strip on the floor. This keeps the cables in one neat string rather than dangling all over the place.
Give your office a whole new look and feel by rearranging your furniture. Move your desk to a different spot in the room or change the angle so you have a new view. If moving your desk is not an option, change the position of your monitor so you can face a slightly different direction. Small changes like this might just change the way you work!
Add or rearrange nearby seating to give your visitors a nice place to sit. If you don’t have seating near your workspace, add a mobile ped pad to the top of your mobile ped so it doubles as an extra seat.
Remove furniture you don’t use, like empty bookcases or cabinets. Add pieces that you will use, like a task table or small meeting table, or hanging shelves that give you extra storage without taking up floor space.
Office overhead lights are often too bright, harsh, or poorly positioned. While you probably can’t change the overhead lights themselves (wouldn’t a chandelier be fun?), you can add under-cabinet and desktop task lights to put the right kind of light right where you need it. Place one or two task lights on your desktop within arms’ distance so you can quickly adjust the position, angle, or brightness without reaching or bending. Adjust the light for proper contract of text and ensure there are no cast shadows or glare. Task lights properly positioned throughout your office space give it a warmer, cozier feel. Try also putting some in the corners and facing them upward to cast diffused light off the walls. Add occupancy sensors to your office lighting that automatically turn the lights off when your office is empty, saving energy. Make sure there are no barriers blocking the occupancy sensor so it can function properly. Point the sensors at your office chair so they turn on when you’re at your desk and off when you’ve left.
Ah, plants... Greenery has so many benefits, especially in an office! The sight of plants can be calming and reduces stress. Plants release oxygen to help you breathe easy while you work. They brighten and liven up the space, easily. Bring in some small succulents for your desktop or add a large ficus in a sunny corner of the office. Make sure the plants have enough light, whether it’s natural light from nearby windows or simply desktop lights positioned over them. Choose plants that do well in low-light and don’t require constant attention so they can thrive in your office space.