Open floor plans and floating workstations are all the rage in offices these days. At first glance, these setups can seem like a refreshing change from the classic cubicle, since they allow for easier collaboration and more flexible work hours, but they can also feel impersonal. From patterned laptop cases to cute notebooks, here are some ways to help add personal flair to your workstation whenever you long for a little space of your own.
Add a Little Color to Your Accessories
Many flexible offices encourage a casual atmosphere, which you can use to your advantage by choosing colorful yet office-appropriate accessories. Consider creating a coordinated look with a matching phone case, laptop skin and tablet cover, or you can mix and match for a more eclectic style. Patterns are a good way to add visual interest to a simple work space, and abstract designs and landscapes in particular can enhance your professional look. Stylish fun notebook designs can be a subtle way to show your personality while taking notes at a meeting, and they also can help you find your notes at a glance.
Keep a Secret Snack Stash Handy
Keeping a private stash of snacks in your desk drawer is a time-honored office tradition, but one that becomes more difficult when you're always working at a different location. Instead, you can choose a small pocket in your laptop bag or briefcase to keep your favorite snacks. Granola bars are an ideal choice because of their nutrition and compact size, and reusable water bottles can keep you hydrated during a long day of work. Consider picking a water bottle in your favorite color or with a fun design to add some personality to your desk.
Create a More Comfortable Work Space with an Ergonomic Mouse and Keyboard
One of the biggest challenges in an open office is finding a desk or table that fits you comfortably. Sure, that office chair might be adjustable, but it's not the same as setting up your station just the way you want it. An ergonomic mouse, Bluetooth keyboard and portable laptop or tablet stand can go a long way towards turning every desk into your personalized workstation. An adjustable stand can help you get the right level of screen tilt at the proper height to reduce strain, and a programmable mouse can let you set up your favorite shortcuts to streamline your work. The right tablet case can protect your device on-the-go and can help keep it propped at your desk for easy viewing.
Use Technology to Minimize Distractions
While some workers thrive amidst background noise and distractions, most say they prefer less noise at work, and 95 percent of workers lose about 23 minutes of work time each day due to unexpected distractions. For introverted employees, all the noise and interaction can feel stressful and tiring. If you prefer a quieter, less distracting space, consider a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Even if you're just piping white noise through these headphones, they can help you focus more deeply, and some workers just wear them as a convenient "do not disturb" sign.
Stay on Track with Portable Gadgets
If you need a visual to-do list or other cues to stay on track, consider investing in a portable projector. These compact gadgets can project your daily to-do list, appointment reminders and inspirational quotes or artwork on the wall beside you. A projector can be a quick and easy way to create a personalized space, and it's neater and less wasteful than sticky notes or other low-tech solutions. Programming reminders on your phone can also help you stay focused. If you find yourself itching to check social media or play your favorite mobile game, try switching to a smartwatch to get the same functionality without the temptation.
Whether you're working every day at an open office or traveling frequently to remote sites, working in impersonal spaces can get a little tiring. With a dash of creativity and a keen eye for accessories, though, you can make a personalized workstation that travels wherever you do.
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