Your office desk is where you spend most of your day, while some are content with the bland stationery and drapes, others prefer creating their own little ‘treasure island’
Imagine working in a traditional office space, where you carry nothing more than your laptop bag and the lunch bag your mum or your wife packed for you — a place where just work, and nothing else matters. How boring does that sound? To some, if it is nothing more than a place assigned by the manager, to many, it is a space that needs to be exploited! And how! We spoke to a few to who the desk is a means of an expression their unique personalities.
Ever heard of a collector of fossilised insects? That is exactly how Vaibhav Kundalkar, a corporate employee adorns his desk. An avid trekking enthusiast, Vaibhav tells us, “My friend Jas and I love to go on weekend trips to jungles and the outskirts where we get to see some great flora and fauna. I once spotted a funny little skeleton of a creature that looked like a beetle. I pasted it on a black paper, wrote the date I found it on, and framed it. That was five years ago, and now I am a collector!” His desk evokes mixed responses from his teammates he says. While some find it grotesque, some appreciate the wanderer in him.
Teddy Bears are perhaps the most common ‘colleagues and companions’ to many corporate women. Madhumika Dinushi graduated this year and is all set to join a multinational firm in Hyderabad. Apart from her expectations of doing well professionally, she also hopes that her desk is big enough to accommodate her interests. She tells us, “I have a collection of around 12 little teddy bears that my college friends gave me on my birthday two months ago. I hope to have them all on my desk when I join office next month.” Vasundhara Saha though is averse to the idea of keeping stuffed toys on the desk, she says,. “I think people who collect teddy bears and pink stuffed toys need to be at home with their kindergarten friends and not in offices. I find that the joy of imbeciles and not of professionals.” The debate surely goes on, but who is to judge what is good, bad, appropriate or juvenile in workplaces that believe in giving as much freedom to the employee as possible!
From miniature cars to Bonsai plants, from self-flagellating pictures to souvenirs, desks are all you can make them to be. Of course, mostly it is hobbies that make their way into the otherwise bland desks.
But to some, utilities such as stationery also are a way to express one’s creativity. Tape dispensers in the shape of snails and alligators, sticky notes with impressions of actors or performers, push pins topped with beetles or lady bugs all add the much required colour and spice to the desk spaces. Go ahead, give expressions to your creativity and let your office know that a great performer you may be, but are not lagging behind when it comes to work either!
Relax! You’re only at work
Make your work space look attractive to you
Try new furniture, photos, posters, mirrors, flowers, knick knacks, toys, statues, rugs, artwork, crystals, etc. If you have the necessary control, you can also tweak the lighting in your workspace to create the right type of mood.
Clear out the clutter
One look at a cluttered workspace, and you get a sense that the person working there is stressed, overwhelmed, and disorganised. Ideally the only paper items on your desk should be directly related to the current task at hand. Store everything else in drawers, shelves, or cabinets.
Plants are a wonderful way to add life to a lifeless workspace. Use only living, oxygen-generating plants, not lifeless fake ones. Water them as needed to keep them healthy. Over time you’ll find that your plants begin to resonate with you and become a reflection of you.
Make it smell good
Australian dentist Paddy Lund has his staff bake fresh muffins for his patients daily. Think about how a dentist’s office usually smells. Now imagine walking into one that smells of blueberry muffins. If you don’t like candles, there are other options for improving the smell of your office. You can get a diffuser and fill it with essential oil, or add some potpourri. Be careful when considering chemical air fresheners though, as there are reports they can pose health risks.
Play relaxing music
Experiment with different types of music to see what effect they have on your stress level and productivity. Use headphones if you need to keep from disturbing others. I prefer total silence when I do certain types of work, but for everyday tasks I like listening to music. My favourite streams are Vocal Trance and New Age.
Get a decent chair
Most likely you’ll use your chair more than any other object in your workspace, so consider investing in a good one. Today there’s an assortment of oddities you can sit on, including knee chairs, balls, and more.