This post is from guest author Logan Randall.
Whether at work or home, our offices have a way of becoming the catch-all areas of our busy lives. Littered with old projects, out-of-date electronics, and boxes of last year’s Girl Scout cookies, it’s easy for an office to end up looking less like a professional workspace and more like an oversized hall closet. But if you want to dial in a little more style without paying for an entire remodel, consider some of these budget friendly office face-lift options instead.
It may be time to let go of the filing cabinet from the 70’s your dad gave you, and go digital. Shuffling through heavy cabinets is a waste of everyone’s time, and furthermore, they’re an eyesore. Young business owners shouldn’t be lugging around old office equipment in today’s tech-driven industry. Going digital will de-stress the office, making room for more modern furnishings; something both clients and employees will appreciate.
Giving a fashionable feel to the office doesn’t require big expenses or hiring an interior decorator. Ideas can emerge simply by scrolling around online and studying other office decor. For example, consider purchasing a retractable stand-up desk or putting up a chalkboard wall calendar and other inspirational office displays that will make your office feel like a place of comfort and excitement.
Bring Life to the Office
Framed pictures of scenic forests won’t bring life and oxygen into your office. It is proven that live plants increase productivity and cognitive attention. Introducing plants to the working environment will help to reduce anxiety and significantly aid with minor depression, anger, and fatigue.
For desks, try adding some low maintenance plants, like succulents. For other areas around the workplace, some of the best indoors plant options include pothos, aloe, spider plants, English ivy, rubber trees, jade plants, and snake plants.
Change the Lighting
There are a number of negative health effects that have been linked to working under fluorescent lights such as:
- Eye strain
- Problems sleeping, due to melatonin suppression
- Symptoms of seasonal affective disorder or depression
- May increases breast cancer rates
- Stress and anxiety, due to cortisol suppression
A more energy efficient alternative are LED light bulbs. They produce a more narrow wavelength of light, and in this process, uses less power. LEDs also produce light that renders a color similar (but not identical) to natural daylight, which is measured on a scale called CRI, or Color Rendering Index.
Customize the Walls
Some of the defining parts of your office are the walls. They resonate, in a sense, with your personality and how you go about doing business. Custom wall paper and custom wall murals are the perfect way to give yourself some creative independence and impress office visitors.
Another part of expressing yourself as a young entrepreneur is by getting rid of typical prepackaged corporate art; you know the stuff — three people rowing a canoe at sunrise with the “teamwork” caption. These can work against the very morale you’re trying to build. Awesome offices are authentic offices, not motivational billboards.
If the above tips are still cutting too far into your budget, trying doing things that require no money at all, like doing a deep clean on the office space. This will also help you identify current and future problems that can later be dealt with. In all, any amount of work you put into improving your office is better than not doing anything at all.