Making Your Office Yours

As a new employee, you probably walked into your office or cubicle, and got right to work. After logging into your computer, you may have checked out the office supply situation.

You most likely didn’t go much beyond these steps. Most employees don’t adjust their chair or computer monitor to the right height, consider the best furniture configuration, sanitize the keyboard or mouse, or ponder whether they need everything in the space.

Given you sit in your workspace for years—potentially decades—these are important missed opportunities.

Most people don’t think of changing their office set up when walking into a new job. And some people don’t have that option (cubicle or built-in furniture). Yet, workspaces are not calibrated for YOUR highest efficiency—yet your needs will be different than the last employee.

So if you have some leeway, what should you do to make the office yours?

Consider where your desk faces. Most people don’t like colleagues or clients approaching from the back. Others don’t mind. Some people want to hide their computer monitor for privacy, while others need it visible to visitors. Only you can decide the best desk placement, so think about what you need. For example, if you have a window, it’d be refreshing to face it, but only if there aren’t people constantly standing or walking by outside, which could be distracting. Experiment with different options, and ensure you have an ergonomic set up.

Get rid of your filing cabinet. As we move further toward digital files only, we don’t need to physically file as much. If you are a low paper generator, and can make do with digital files only, make space for something else. For example, a small meeting table and chairs. You might even spring for a mini fridge to keep pop, water, or your lunch.

Put up those photos, degrees, and awards. So many employees have the best intentions of putting up framed posters, autographed pictures, and your children’s paintings, along with business-related frames. But that task often goes down the to-do list. Time to pick them off the floor, and make arrangements with the office manager to have them hung.

Add some personal touches. If it’s part of your job to review reports or publications, consider a reading chair, floor lamp, and side table. If you are an avid coffee or tea drinker, bring supplies and place on a tray so you can make it right there. Saves time, and money. And you may make new office friends!

Whether you are an employee, executive, or small business owner, it’s a great time to refresh your work life and set up your office how YOU want it. Make it yours.