A boring cubicle isn’t doing your career any favors.
There’s a big difference between the guy whose keyboard is covered in donut crumbs and the guy who can take care of a succulent.
When it comes time to dole out promotions, will your name be associated with that chipped coffee mug you haven’t rinsed in a week? Or will you be remembered for your nice pens?
Spending a little time and a few bucks on the stuff that surrounds you eight-ish hours a day makes the difference.
Lighting really affects your workspace. Harsh overhead lighting feels suffocating; a softly lit lamp feels like a yoga studio.
No matter your desk situation (office, cubicle, forgotten corner of mail room), a good lamp tells people you showed up to do work—work you’d like to be able to see clearly.
Masculine and midcentury, the Genoa table lamp is handmade out of powder coated steel.
We like it in matte black. Because it's built to order, it's the kind of thing that will have people stopping by to ask where you got it.
If time is of the essence, readymade options are out there, like this Curvilinear Mid-Century Table Lamp.
Now that you can see what you’re doing, it makes sense to have a few nice things on your desk. The key is to help yourself keep order, so that your desk doesn’t look like a physical manifestation of your junk email folder.
Get yourself an attractive catchall for loose paper, like this one —and limit yourself to no more than two. File or recycle any other loose paper.
A pencil or penholder can also hold useful things like a bottle opener—or the screwdriver you’ve discovered you need on hand to fix the printer.
Keep the brass accents going with this handsome number, which has a couple low compartments for things like paperclips and push pins.
While we’re at it, a few pencils make this thing look instantly more at home.
We like the flat black eraser heads on these from Blackwing. And you’ll need a notebook—nothing fussy, and nothing too trendy.
This cloth-covered one from Appointed is spiral bound so it opens flat, and comes with gridlines or blank pages.
Let’s consider electricity, too. If the only usable outlet is two desks away, think twice before you run an extension cord to a power strip that screams “Office Depot.” Take a browse through the Conway Electric site. Their cloth-covered extension cords come with things like dual electric and USB plugs.
Now we’ve moved to advanced office improvement. This is beyond what you need to get work done, but it tells people a little about your taste or hobbies.
For the desktop, keep it simple. If you’ve ever seen a man’s desk cluttered with props like old-timey magnifying glasses, gleaming geodes, or golf trophies, you probably rolled your eyes. Instead, think about a small plant.
It adds greenery. It’s fun to watch it grow. It tells other people that you can keep something alive.
This arrangement can be delivered on demand to most offices in NYC, Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Austin.
If watering isn't your thing (or if you work in a room without windows), think about a handsome book or two.
Basically anything from this list will start a conversation, or pick up something that serves your creativity, like Graphic Design: The New Basics.
On the wall, think about a vintage poster. You can scroll through collectibles at a dealer like Montreal’s L’Affichiste, uncovering gems like this old-school Perrier ad.
Or grab one of Schoolhouse Electric’s bold, graphic posters, available already framed in black metal.
If you want people to spend any time in your office—or at your deskside—you need somewhere for them to sit. Your choice of chair should be light enough to carry out of the office when you decide to pursue your startup. But it should be nice enough that your coworkers to try to buy it from you when you leave.
The Sidera chair has a modern Scandinavian vibe and eye-catching woven design. But for the money, you can't go wrong with a Tolix-style chair which looks classic in any setting, and pulls up neatly next to a desk. Of course, if you’re in a huge office already, feel free to treat yourself with an executive-level Chesterfield.
A last word: scent. When people enter your office, what should greet their nostrils? The professional answer is nothing. If your desk area is as stagnant as last year’s bonus pool, time to fix that.
The activated charcoal Chikuno Cube naturally absorbs odors and moisture in spaces up to 17 square feet. Until that promotion comes along, that’s probably just enough.