Thoughts on Office Space

Jul 20, 2014   

This week my cubicle at work was rearranged. I had to move everything out and then back in again. These sort of situations are a good opportunity to reassess what you’re actually keeping around that you might not really be using. In the past I had a lot of notebooks, text books, etc. that I used. It gave my space that overworked busy-papers-everywhere look. Which has a benefit I suppose. But now the majority of my notes, packets, resources are all digitized. I don’t reach for textbooks or notepads in order to achieve my goals. So I’m thinking of storing away the few books and notepads I do have. Leaving my desk cleaner.

There’s a thought that worries me, “could this give off a message that I am not busy?” That’s something I’ve always been curious about. Which is more important? Having a desk environment that reflects your work-load? Sometimes a mess of papers can seem like a right of passage for the importance of the work. Or creating a desk environment that is more conducive to your productivity? Typing it out the answer seems pretty clear.

For me that would definitely be the modern meets zakka style found on many Korean office supply sites.

office inspiration
office inspiration
office inspiration
office inspiration
office inspiration
office inspiration
office inspiration
office inspiration

But I think images like these can be a bit deceiving. Especially if you’re online shopping for office supplies. Because, for many, an office made up of slick white, clean surfaces and ample natural light just isn’t reality. Not everyone can work in a Google-esque environment. My cubicle is made up of drab colors in beige, tan, gray, and maroon. Full natural light is non-existent for myself and most of those in my office.

These images below are a better representation of the levels you might hope to achieve…

office inspiration
office inspiration
office inspiration

There’s also the reality that things change, offices move, your job could change, etc. and if you prize something you’ll want to bring it with you. Because I commute on the train, bringing an excessive amount of decor with me is no easy task. And if I needed to take all that home…? So I don’t like to spend a lot of money on making my work environment feel relaxing. I buy the cheapest lamps or bring in things from home I’m no longer using and wouldn’t care about it breaking, etc. So when that $4.00 lamp from IKEA stop workings (it did Friday) I’m not bummed out by it. :)

 



14 Responses to “Thoughts on Office Space”

  1. Jing says:

    I can totally relate! I actually waited to ‘decorate’ my cube until after I worked for a little over a year because I honestly wasn’t sure how long I would last. And even then I didn’t spend a whole lot on my decor. As you’ve mentioned, where are you going to keep all that stuff once you don’t need it anymore? I think it’s a good idea to bring things from home OR buy something that would work for BOTH the office and home. IKEA definitely has reasonably priced items that looks good in any office setting. And yes, the dreadful office lighting is definitely no good.

    • jenny says:

      This reminds me of how I cleared out almost all of my office decor the year the budget was bad because I honestly didn’t want to deal with packing up stuff if there were layoffs!

  2. Joyce says:

    I don’t even have enough electrical outlets for a lamp and mini-electric fan in my cube (I’m at the very corner right before the next set of cubes, farthest from all the outlets).

    Ah well, I work better in the messy dark anyway. I’ll just pretend I’m in an 1920s attic working on some masterpiece. =)))

    • jenny says:

      Hey if “messy” works for you have at it! I don’t judge others’ cubes :). But I feel you on the outlets omfg. I have the worst time trying to find a plug for my iPhone charger that isn’t 1 million miles away from my reach.

  3. Thao says:

    My cube at work is your boring grey with no natural light in sight. Even if I step out of my cube, I can’t see a window in any direction. Center suite of the building. I might buy some cheap fake plants to make it more welcoming. Currently I have nothing but scratch paper. No pictures. No plants. Though there is a mouse trap at a corner of my cube for some reason. Anyways, love this post and the pretty pictures.

    • jenny says:

      That’s what I did when I moved to a center cube. The fake plants. I’m really glad I got them. The ikea ones. Everyone thinks they’re real and I’m just like, “really?…”

      That’s also when I bought a small ikea globe shape lamp. I had read in “Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff: Work” that adding a few personal touches could be good for mood.

  4. Thea says:

    I am interested in those Korean office supplies shops! I tried googling but the pictures aren’t as pretty as the ones you posted.

    Here at my work, we don’t even get to have a designated work area/cubicle. You can basically sit anywhere but of course, you’ll somehow have a usual place as time goes by. With this kind of practice, we can’t decorate our work tables. :(

    • jenny says:

      I found these on the Korean “iswas” site and GMarket site. Yesstyle also sells iswas goods. :)

      I’m familiar with that practice. At an old job that’s how it was too. There were 3 work stations you could use and the most personalized you got was your Windows desktop profile. It’s sorta a bummer but also it’s a bit freeing too I think. The un-attachment.

      • Thea says:

        Yes, that is freeing and also it helps you not become a hoarder/packrat in your cubicle or desk space. So less clutter, less distraction, I think.

  5. Churi Chan says:

    lovely inspiration! I love shopping office and school supplies, so I have much more than I’m using nowadays xP

  6. Twinkle says:

    Have you seen Poppin? http://www.poppin.com/

    I think it’s a good way to add personality and color without too much commitment. My new office is totally old-school in that not-good way (think reds, golds, mahogany wood, frilled ornate lampshades – blech) so my cute pop-colored desk accessories look completely out of place.

  7. Tiff says:

    We don’t have cubicles… we just have a bench and you get designated an amount of bench for yourself lol. To be fair my job doesn’t involve a lot of desk work. Still I have made it a point to make my bench area mine. I think it just brightens up a blargh day at work!

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