There’s a lot to be said for office cubicles. In a world where offices with doors seem destined for the museum, they’re pretty much the only guaranteed way to get a little bit of privacy while you work other than locking yourself in the restroom with your laptop and refusing to come out. And bosses tend to frown on that sort of behavior.
Unfortunately, a cubicle is not the most exciting piece of office furniture. Cubicles tend to be upholstered in monotone fabrics. They also don’t offer much in the way of self-expression. Your cubicle is likely exactly the same as your neighbor’s.
The good news is that it doesn’t have to stay this way. The geniuses at Lifehacker suggested a couple of different ways to make your boring old cube more exciting. Here are a few of our favorites and our take on them.
1. Cover Up Every Large Surface
Walls, floor, that imaginary ceiling that maintenance refuses to install…if you cover the major surfaces of your cube, you can effectively transform it into a whole different workspace altogether. Lifehacker suggests rugs for the floor and fabric for the walls, among other ideas. We still like the idea of wrapping our cubicles entirely in bubble wrap.
2. Adjust the Lighting
We can’t say this enough: if you want to avoid eye strain and also the dull, soul-sucking feeling that comes with working under florescent lighting, add task lights. There’s a reason that interior designers spend so much time on lighting. A few well-placed lamps will change the whole feel of your office.
3. Adjust the Temperature
You probably won’t be able to convince your stingy building manager to crank up the heat (or, oddly, crank down the air conditioner). However, you can make the office warmer all on your own with the addition of a space heater. Also, we once had a coworker who wore a Snuggie every day at the office, which both kept her warm and provided an elegant form of protest against our parsimonious overlords. You can use your best judgment about whether that would fly at your office. (Hint: it’s better if you work for a website than for the stock exchange.)
4. Bring in Stuff from Home
You don’t need to rip out every fixture and replace it with your own stuff. In fact, most offices won’t approve of that behavior. However, bringing in the odd lamp or plant from home will make your cubicle seem, well, more homey.
Plants, fish, Magic 8-balls, posters, pictures, toys, and games…anything that brightens up the place is a good idea. Just make sure it isn’t something that needs feeding or watering every single day of the week. The modern office worker toils away ’round the clock, but maybe not that ’round that particularly ugly wall clock.