16 easy ways you can perk up your office desk and workspace

As the year draws to a close, you may realise that your workspace looks more dismal than it did at the start of the year. Gone are the days of tidy stationeries and clean desk tops – you don’t even know how you managed to work OT every night in this sad space.

If you find yourself lamenting the state of your office desk, it’s high time to spruce it up and it’s not as difficult as you may imagine it to be! Here are 16 easy ways you can prep your work station (and yourself) for the new year:

1. Keep a small succulent on your desk

Source: Lucy Remitz

A study has suggested that plants in offices increase happiness and productivity among employees, which may be why your colleague is a lot more cheerful after she placed a cactus on her desk.

You don’t necessarily need to have green fingers in order to enjoy the mood-lifting benefits of keeping a plant alive on your desk either – succulents are perfect for the busy OL who doesn’t have time nor energy to water and fertilise her plants. You just have to make sure that they get sufficient light by placing them in a well-lit place, preferably next to the window.

2. Hang up a cork board and get creative

Source: Pinterest

There’s no better motivation than looking at reminders of your favourite things pinned up at your work desk. Feel free to tack on photographs of your friends and family, memories from a holiday trip that you would love to go on again, as well as inspirational quotes to keep you going on a tough work day.

You can get one of these cork boards at SGD4.43 from Shopee.

Tip: Remember to leave a space on the cork board to stick on reminders and tasks!

3. Add flowers to your desk – either fresh or dried

Source: Food52

Flowers are an easy way to add colour and a whiff of fragrance to your office desk. Fresh flowers add a beautiful, crisp scent that will instantly uplift your mood, but can be an expensive indulgence to keep up.

The more affordable alternative is to buy stalks of dried flowers and place them in vases – these last much longer so you don’t have to keep changing them, and usually have a more muted fragrance that won’t overwhelm you (or your colleagues).

4. Use a pillow on your chair

Source: Pain Away Devices

Office chairs may not be as comfortable as the sofa or gaming chair at home, but most of us probably spend more time sitting in office than at home on the weekdays. Hence, it’s important to make sure that your work seat will not give you chronic back pain and disc degeneration in the long term.

Lumbar cushions are a must-have for any desk-bound office workers, as they give you proper support to maintain the natural curve of your back. You can also opt for a beautifully-designed cushion that can provide some cushioning and add personality to your own workspace.

5. Stick to a colour scheme…

Source: Tanamen

If your work cubicle looks dull and you are not a fan of rainbows, here’s a simple way to make your desk stand out from the crowd: have everything at your work desk in just one colour!

Go ahead and get everything in your favourite shade of mint blue, or indulge the hipster within you by having only white stationeries, white notepads, and white photo frames. You don’t even have to think too hard about how to make everything look nicer, because everything already looks great when it is in your favourite colour.

6. …or incorporate colourful office supplies

Source: OUE

Working with bright and cheery office supplies is the easiest way to perk you up, even on the most dreary of work days.

Don’t just limit it to your highlighters and paper clips – jazz it up with neon-coloured notebooks and Post-its in every single colour you can think of!

7. Keep things organised in a stylish tray

Source: Shopee

It’s difficult to feel inspired or ready to start the day when your desk is a mess, and the easiest way to get organised is, well, to get an organising tray.

If you have a small working area and don’t want to clutter your desk further with too many boxes, you can get a desk organiser that not only allows you to stack things up, but also keep your keyboard and mouse under the stand – the space-saver we could all do with!

You can get this desk organiser at just SGD18.99 from Shopee.

8. Trim everything with washi tape

Source: Pinterest

The fastest and cheapest way to rejuvenate your office desk is none other than the humble washi tape.

This pretty decorative paper masking tape has been commonly used in craft projects for a long time, and it looks like it won’t be going out of favour any time soon.

The thin and durable tape is easy to stick on many surfaces — including wood, plastic, and metal — and is easy to remove without causing damage, so you can go ahead and stick it to anything your heart desires.

Whenever you feel like your cabinet needs a new look or you want your workspace to sport a new design theme next month, simply peel off and replace with your desired washi tape!

9. Display a few of your favourite books

Source: PureIMG

We’ve all been there before: you take a break from work in the afternoon, but there’s nothing interesting on social media to look at.

Instead of scrolling mindlessly on Facebook, why not put a few of your favourite titles on your table so that you can read a chapter or two whenever you can spare the time?

In addition, displaying books can make your desk look less empty and make for a very good conversation starter with your colleagues – you may even discover that a few of you share similar reading interests!

10. Keep a small mirror on your table

Source: Bibliotek

A surefire hack to make a small space seem larger is to add a mirror to your cozy little cube – you’ll be surprised at how much bigger your tiny desk feels with this simple addition.

Having a mirror on the table is also a convenient way to touch up throughout the day – after all, looking and feeling fabulous is one of the best mood-boosters you can get!

11. Switch out your mug

Source: Awesome Stuff 365

Why settle for boring mugs when you can sip your morning caffeine fix from a pretty mug?

Let your office mug do much more for you than just hold your coffee: get one that will tickle you with a funny joke, inspire you with a motivational quote, make you feel like a princess, or even allow you to entertain yourself with a crossword puzzle!

12. Keep a handy stash of snacks

Source: Finding My Kid

For those of us who wake up early in the morning and skip breakfast, there’s a high chance that our stomachs will start growling and demanding food hours before lunchtime. We can also relate to the pain of having to pinch ourselves in order not too succumb to food coma after a heavy lunch.

To avoid the embarrassment of having your stomach growl during a team meeting and stop yourself from falling asleep at 3pm, there’s no better solution than snacks. We highly encourage you to keep a stash of your favourite snacks at your work station – this keeps you more alert throughout the day, and also makes work a little more bearable when you think about all that delicious food you have kept in the office.

Of course, you don’t have to stock up on junk food only – healthy snacks like nuts and dried fruits are perfect if you want to feel less guilty about the snacking.

13. Up your coffee game with a French press and beans

Source: Primula Products

3-in-1 coffee? Pfft.

Perk up your workspace (and all your colleagues) with an aromatic cup of freshly-brewed coffee every morning. There are many affordable options in the market, so you don’t necessarily have to spend a bomb.

Besides being able to enjoy delicious coffee everyday, you’ll also cement your reputation in the office as a coffee connoisseur – what’s there not to love?

14. Pin up a fancy calendar

Source: RoomMates Decor

Deadlines are one of the most dreaded things you can have at work, but trust us, a fancy calendar will make things a little more bearable.

Instead of the usual boring desk calendars you get for free, why not make your very own calendar? There are many free calendar templates available on the Internet – you can easily download one and further customise it to your own liking, then print it out to paste on your wall or pin up on a cock board (see tip #2)!

15. Get a gorgeous mouse pad

There’s no point in having a beautifully-designed office desk if your mousepad is in an ugly shade that doesn’t fit the theme.

If you are looking for one that is more versatile and won’t look out of place no matter what your desk looks like, this marble mousepad will do just the trick. Its classic marble print is will instantly add a touch of elegance to an otherwise boring table space.

16. Use an active footrest to keep your legs from getting cramped

Source: Gadget Flow

Some of us are stuck at the desk for hours on end, and let’s be honest – it is terrible for your health. Sitting for long periods can lead to weakening and wasting away of the large leg and gluteal muscles, which is why you are encouraged to get up and take walks once in a while (just hopefully not to the pantry to get snacks).

If you don’t have the luxury of taking frequent walking breaks, here’s a niffy innovation that will help you take the walks you need: an active footrest. Different footrests may work differently, but they generally work by getting you to move your legs just as how you would if you were walking – nice!

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