I have been in places of employment where the company is very particular about what you may do to your work space. Whether for reasons of aesthetics or potential damage to surfaces, as employees we are required to adhere to company rules.
With most traditional methods of decoration there is the potential to cause damage. Sticky tape has a tendency to lift paint, poster-tac may leave oily residue or lift paint, and thumb tacks leave unsightly holes in walls.
Here are some alternative ideas for personalizing your work space.
1. Use magnets to dress up a filing cabinet. It could be a souvenir magnet from your latest holiday, or just something you like the look of from the local shop. My favourite option to use is a set of magnetic words, called magnetic poetry. These are brilliant for a writer or anyone who likes to play with words. Magnets also create changeable and interesting displays on whiteboards. Do not place magnets on to your computer or any other electronic equipment.
A friend of mine once worked in a space with an ugly metal beam from floor to ceiling. It created a wonderful canvas for a vast magnet collection that was much more interesting and colourful to look at.
2. Photographs – a classic photo in a frame is always a good choice for a work space. However, if your desk does not have enough free room, do not despair. An old magnet or sticky magnet strip purchased from a craft shop can be adhered to the back. Then simply ‘hang’ it on a filing cabinet. Alternatively, substitute Velcro whish has an adhesive back for the magnet. This will hold the picture nicely on any of the fabric covered partitions used in some offices. If you do not want to damage the photo, stick the magnet or Velcro onto a light photo frame instead.
3. Paintings done by children or small trinkets may be attached to fabric partitions using a dressmaking pin.
4. A cactus is an excellent way to bring in a natural element to your office. Preferring warmth and requiring little water they are perhaps the safest plant to have around documents and electronic equipment. Many shapes and sizes, even some that flower, are available for little cost.
5. Turn your computer into part of your décor. Choose wallpaper and a screensaver to complement your personality. If permitted, family or holiday photos can be uploaded to your hard drive for a truly personalized slideshow. A small trinket or toy can sit atop your computer’s CPU, so long as it does not obscure any air vent.
6. Decorating your office space provides many opportunities for those with crafty inclinations. Combine the love of making things with the necessities one usually requires on a desk for a satisfying resolution. Make your own pen holder, business card holder, or other useful desktop utility. Cardboard, paper mache, small and clean cardboard tubes, or glass jars can all transform into handy containers. Decorate with paint, stickers, interesting papers, or whatever else appeals for something which is both functional and unique. The internet provides a wealth of project ideas, including instructions and suggested materials.
It is possible to create a personalized work area without compromising the surfaces. The first priority is to find out the company’s regulations as to what is acceptable. Then, with guidelines in hand, there is a way to embellish any area safely.
Work spaces do not need to be an impersonal part of our lives. We spend a lot of time there, so why not spruce it up a little with our own personal style.