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By Glenn Krieger

Workspaces are subjective. What may be a filthy nightmare to one person is an organizational haven for another. Sometimes people keep a messy workspace, and they get nothing accomplished. Other times people keep a very neat and tidy workspace, only to find that they’re uninspired. And some people have nothing there, and are perfectly happy. It’s really a matter of what works best for you.

That being said, what we may believe works for us, may not actually work. Believe it or not, there’s actually a rhyme and reason to maintaining a solid workplace, yet keep it personal so as to keep you happy.

There’s one thing we all know; a drab, grey collection of cubicles is soul draining. And I think most of us can agree that those young, hip workspaces with pinball machines, ball-chairs, and hackey sacks are a bunch of childish nonsense.

So what is actually the perfect workspace? Let’s keep organization in our pocket for now, we all know that’s important. Well, let’s make this a little personal and take a look at my own workspace:

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Pretty sweet, right? Not too cluttered, but not exactly spotless, not filled with knick-knacks but not exactly void of visual pleasures. But there’s more than meets the eye. There are actually quite a few lessons you can learn from my beautiful workspace.

Let’s go through them, shall we? We shall.

Be Inspired

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Sometimes all it takes is an inspirational cat telling you to “hang in there!”

Add a Little Green

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Or some “green” in my case. My request for an office plant has yet to be answered, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s called imagination people!

Anyway… getting off track here.

Studies show that office plants improve both the visual aesthetic of an office and worker concentration and productivity. This is the “duh, we kinda knew that already” part of this piece. But some people still don’t do it! Trust me, it totally helps. I can tell by the looks on my other co-workers’ faces.

What’s That (Wonderful) Smell?

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Do your hands get dry or ashy? Would you like the occasional fresh scent? Then you should probably invest in some lotion. The lotion (or “hand cream” as it’s so fancifully labeled) that I use smells like Christmas. So every time I use it, I feel just a little warmer inside. Like the feeling I get after that first sip of Christmas scotch. …except it’s totally not, because that wouldn’t be appropriate for the workplace.

Have a Sense of Humor

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If you can’t have a good chuckle every now and again while you’re at work, then… that sucks. What makes me laugh is a charming photobooth strip of my sister tenderly eating a cupcake at our cousin’s wedding. I mean, how could you now laugh at that? Add a little humor into your workspace and your soul will thank you.

Get Comfy

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Sometimes it gets chilly in the office! That’s why I keep my sweet MailChimp hat nearby in case of the ol’ shivers. Your sense of comfort may differ. Perhaps some slippers would be a nice addition. Or even a classic comfy sweater. But whatever it is, make sure you’re comfortable.

Yes, those are stunner shades. And yes, they go great with the hat.

Whatever your preferences may be, make sure that your workspace is a place that you’re happy spending a lot of time in. You need to have just the right balance of comfort, humor, and inspiration without anything being distracting.

Sure, you may be comfortable in your underwear playing video games and eating Doritos (as we all are), but that’s not exactly work appropriate. You may find the smell of a Limburger and onion sandwich appealing, but (and trust me when I say this) nobody else does. You may only relax to Willow’s “Whip My Hair” on repeat, but you’re only going to drive everybody else crazy.

Point is that you still have to be considerate to your fellow officemates. They’re there to be productive too, and you should respect that. Your personal preferences don’t trump other people’s.

However, you should be able to bring your personality to your workspace. If you can’t look around and see the little treasures that give your soul some joy, then how can you expect to be productive? Just by putting your head down and doing it? I mean, sure, but that’s a surefire way to have a miserable drone of an employee.

Take a look at your desk, is it everything you love about yourself? Does it inspire you? Does it take you away from work for a brief second? Does it relax you? Does it make you happy to come into work?

Then you’re probably in good shape.