Tips for your office look
Now that 2014 has officially begun, you may be thinking about an office makeover to give your workspace a fresh look in the New Year. But you don't have to spend thousands of dollars on a renovation project; you can spruce up your office with a few simple, inexpensive changes to your furniture, layout and decor. Here are four easy ways to do it:
Some individuals spend more time at work than they do at home. Why not make the office feel a little cozier with some simple home decor items? An inexpensive floor or table lamp can brighten up your workspace and make for a refreshing break from the harsh florescent lights typically found in offices. Plants and decorative pillows for reception-area seating can also create a more comfortable, welcoming atmosphere.
"These accents give a wink to residential styling, softening up spaces and helping people relax," said Jenny Gauld, an interior designer for office furniture supplier, turnstone.
A fresh coat of paint is a great, easy way to add a pop of color to your office, as well. Gauld recommended painting one wall in an accent color, but letting the office team vote on the color to encourage group collaboration.
[Related story: Strangest Decorations Found in Offices]
Sitting for eight or more hours at your desk is not only uncomfortable; it can also increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes and other health issues that could end up killing you. So improve your well-being and your office's aesthetics simultaneously by purchasing a standing desk.
"Not only do we think better on our feet, but we improve our overall circulation and burn a few extra calories, as well," said Vicki Gattuso, co-founder of Amish Country Furniture.
In addition to other handcrafted, wooden furniture pieces, the company sells a variety of colonial era-inspired standing desks. Wooden standing desks mimic the aesthetic of home furniture, which Gattuso said customers prefer to the laboratory look of stainless steel and composite-board adjustable tables.
If you have drab tile or hardwood floors in your office, you can make the space more inviting without spending much by adding an area rug or carpet squares. Floor accents bring instant warmth to open spaces while anchoring them in groupings, said Gauld.
FLOR, a company that sells carpet squares, allows you to create custom rugs, runners or wall-to-wall designs by connecting squares in the colors and patterns of your choice. This is an ideal option for companies with limited open floor space, as you can arrange the squares in any shape or size that fits the room.
Rearrange the furniture
Sometimes, the best way to freshen up the look of your office is to simply rearrange the furniture. This virtually cost-free initiative can help you open up the space in your office and even encourage more teamwork and collaboration.
Cathy Caldiera Atkins, co-founder of public relations firm Metis Communications, said that her company's newsroom-style office promotes a culture of collaboration, ad hoc brainstorming and helping one another out. Instead of putting walls between workers as closed-off cubicles do, an open physical environment allows for a more open working environment, as well.
[Related story: How to Build a Winning Team at Work]