I recently took over a space that had been used over the years for many different purposes: faculty room, office, storage supplies, etc. While the size of the office was more than sufficient, it felt bland and sterile so here's what I've done to turn it into a truly functioning workspace:
- Reorient the desk: instead of a desk facing the door and credenza behind it, I created and "L" shape. This saves my back (computer was in a tough spot before) and allows more privacy for my computer.
- Eliminate clutter: I went through the file cabinet, drawers, and closet and pitched as much as I could.
- Label files: With a label-creator in hand, I went through each file and drawer and either threw things out or found a new home for them.
- Introduce 'soft' items: A few plants go a long way as do some personal photos and prints.
- Allow for empty spaces: Each wall doesn't have to be plastered with memorabilia or nick-nacks. Keep it simple.
- Desklamps: If you're like me then the fluorescent overhead lights wear on you as the day goes on. I brought in some smaller lamps which add depth and save my eyes from the overheads.
What I've found through all of this is that it doesn't take much money or a professional degree to turn an ordinary space into a truly functioning office. Instead of putting up with a layout or office items that were purchased for you, make a decision today to evaluate your space and then do something about it.