The open office concept may be the latest, greatest trend in office organization, but the trusty cubicle looks as though it’ll still be around for a while, as it has for the last half-century. It’s just too convenient a way to provide certain teams of workers with spaces that afford a modicum of privacy while also encouraging positive interaction.
So, how can you turn that battleship-gray square into something that’s both personal and productive?
These days, unlike those when cubes were first becoming popular, every desk comes with a computing device of some sort, many still with desktop machines and spacious monitors. Consider starting your cubicle renovation by choosing an appropriate and telling desktop image. You could go with the tried-and-true family vacation photo, or that drop-dead-gorgeous landscape image you took at just the right moment…once. Or you can browse the Internet for some decent monitor wallpaper – an especially useful option for dual-monitor users.
The wallpapering doesn’t necessarily need to stop at the edges of your computer monitor. There’s always the option of printing out various images, cartoons and even pithy sayings and then securing them to the walls of the cube or even to a backing or adjacent surface. Of course, always ensure that whatever you decide to tack to the walls is something that could stand the scrutiny of, say, any ordinary reader seeing the exact same thing on the front page of a famous newspaper…with your name prominently displayed.
Plants provide a sense of life as well as some needed oxygen, both of which can come in handy on those late afternoons when seemingly nothing has gone right in your department. Research low-maintenance plants to save yourself and any helpful colleagues from excess labor.
Sample some offbeat shops or local flea markets for unusual items that others likely won’t have in their workspaces. This can include just about anything, as the idea is once again to add a personal, unique touch, done within the bounds of your company’s sense of propriety.
Don’t forget to include items that will help you power through your day in the cube – like snacks and beverages. Bringing your own will feel more comfortable and personal, and will also likely spare you a trip or four to the break room vending machines.
And whenever and however possible, adjust your cube’s lighting to make it a comfortable, inviting space.