For many office administrators, administrative assistants, and other administrative professionals, their desk is the first thing a customer or visitor sees when they enter the office. This means it’s not only important that it be functional (and have all those Admin Emergency Kit items stashed away somewhere), but it also has to be approachable and presentable, as well. That’s a big challenge! And if you’re occupying that office standby, a cubicle, it can seem even more challenging. To celebrate Admin’s Day and Cubicle Day (both in the same week), we’ve gotten some insight from our Workplace Studios experts on creating the Ultimate Admin Workspace.
The true secret to successfully decorating your cubicle or other workspace is finding what makes your inner you smile. Each person is different, and the personality of your “cube sweet cube” (or “desk sweet desk”) should reflect that! But it’s also important that your workspace helps you do your job: is it organized, does it inspire you, does it motivate you? Does it help you multiply your multi-tasking? The ultimate admin workspace has two equally important sides: the fun and the functional.
The fun: Looking to spice up your workspace, give it personality and make it a good reflection of both your and your company? Focus on four things:
Color – What color appeals to your happy side? Is there a color that makes you feel energized but that has the power to calm you, as well? Find those colors that work for you and use them to add accents to your cube! Don’t drown your space with your signature color, though—it can be overwhelming to others and get “old” quickly for you. Trivia: Do you know Sherwin Williams’ color of the year? Poised Taupe. This kind of warm neutral can create a perfect base for splashes of more vivid color.
Lighting – Having a multiple sources of light is beneficial to your mood and energy. In addition to your primary lighting source, incorporate indirect lighting like desk lamps, pendants, or under-cabinet task lighting. A nice consistent flooding of light will brighten your day! Tip: Whenever you can incorporate natural light, it’s the best choice! Exposure to natural light is linked to everything from increased productivity to a better night’s sleep.
Texture – Offices and professional buildings tend to be very linear, incorporating a lot of hard lines and 90-degree angles. Bringing in a variety of textures can soften up the edges and create a more approachable, comfortable space. Even something as simple as hanging personal pictures can add a variety of dimensions to your space, spicing it up and personalizing it. Fact: According to the 2016 Workplace Index, the top three ways workers describe their workspace are standard, plain and dull. Ouch!
Space – Whether it’s a small cube or a big office, make the most of your limited space! Office supplies have evolved a long way from plain manila folders and black staplers. There are limitless opportunities to use your space to express your personal and professional identity, whether you’re going for modern and artistic or homey and inviting. Trend: Design isn’t just for fashion. Desk accessories and business supplies are getting the designer treatment with colorful patterns and stylish colors.
The functional: Even the most impeccable workspace needs to work for your work. As you’re keeping color, space, texture and lighting in mind, also remember your needs. The typical do-it-all administrative professional is working on dozens of things at a time. Consider workstations or storage solutions that allow for compartmentalization and easy, immediate identification. And tech is also important—do you find yourself acting as the switchboard and being the “voice” of your company when people call in? Headsets and quality, cutting edge telephone equipment can make your day easier and save you from headaches… literally.
That brings us to one very important consideration to keep in mind no matter what you think your ultimate workspace should include: ergonomic wellness. According to OSHA and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, musculoskeletal disorders are among top business wellness concerns, and the wrong office setup can bring those issues—including back pain, neck pain and carpal tunnel syndrome—to the forefront.
Whether your office ideal office is more fun or more functional, it should be YOURS! How do you personalize your workspace?