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Positive Energy for Your Cubicle in 5 Easy Steps

After you’ve settled into your cubicle or office, learned the ropes, and started to add value to your company, it’s only natural to personalize your work space in a way that pleases you. Even though I’m fairly new to QLP, you can bet your bottom dollar that I have spent a decent amount of time researching the ways to fill my cubicle with positive energy.

It is one thing to create positive energy (via enthusiasm) in your own cubicle, but a lot of positive energy also comes from your surroundings. Following some of these simple steps for your cubicle can send happy waves all around! Soon, the whole office will be humming “Don’t Worry, Be Happy”!

Let the decorating begin!

Step One: Add Photos and/or Art.

Sticky notes are good promo items, but not the best cubicle decor!

Sticky notes are good promo items, but not the best cubicle decor!

This is the most obvious step, but that doesn’t make it less important. Pictures help personalize your workspace! Smiles are contagious, especially when they’re on the faces of people you love (after all, I would hope that you wouldn’t display pictures of loved ones crying). Or, if you’d rather not bring in all of your picture frames, artwork adds color to your neutral-colored cube walls as well. It is said that colors can play an important role in affecting our moods, so fill your cubicle with colors like green (associated with optimism),  blue (said to be calming and gives a sense of security), and heck, you can even treat yourself like the king or queen you are and throw a little purple (associated with royalty) in there, too!

Note: For a fun, creative way to add color to your cubicle, just run out to the fabric store, buy a cheap sheet of fabric (hooray for clearance aisles!), and pin it up over your boring gray cubicle wall. Voilà! Who said you can’t have your own wallpaper at work? I plan on doing this very soon.

Step Two: Add Some Life.

Blossom Kit

Blossom Kit

No, you don’t need to run out and buy a hamster or anything (unless that’s acceptable at your work place, and you find peace in the sound of a hamster wheel). Simply putting a plant in your cubicle can create positive energy, and increase productivity. This also adds that hint of green I mentioned earlier. However, if you are going to add plants to your cube, make sure they’re office friendly! No plants should be harmed in the decorating of your cubicle! Plants that would survive in the office environment include English Ivy, Wandering Jew, Asparagus Fern, Mother-In-Law’s Tongue, Bamboo, or a Jade Plant.

Note: Try to avoid plants with prickles, like a cactus. This is considered bad feng shui, and we want positive energy!

Step Three:  Watch your back.

How will anyone talk to you if this is what they see?

How will anyone talk to you if this is what they see?

Having your back to the entrance of your cubicle or office creates negative energy. Humans are actually more comfortable when their backs are not exposed to what’s going on outside their cubicle! A computer monitor mirror can only show you so much about what’s going on while you’re working.

Note: At QLP, most of us have our backs to the entrance of our cubicle. So, as a tip, tilt your chair slightly so that your side is facing the entrance. Now you can wave and smile at everyone that passes by! If you were to walk past my cube right now, you’d surely see me doing this.

Step Four: Candy!

Jelly Bean Desk Dispenser

Jelly Bean Desk Dispenser

For real? You’re telling me it is a good thing to keep a stash of candy at my desk? I’m sold! You’ll keep that positive energy flowing if you have a reason to have visitors stopping by. Having a hard piece of candy can also help you focus; some schools even use this as a strategy when handing out exams. And let’s be honest, a little treat can be just the thing for that second wind you need around 2:00 PM.

Step Five: Inspiration.

Whether it’s a photograph of someone you love or a print out of your favorite quotes, having inspiration in your cubicle will without a doubt keep those good vibes flowing! When you’re having a bad day, the stress keeps building up, and you want to break down and cry, it is nice to look over and read something like:

“Will this matter a year from now?” -Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff.

I am a huge fan of decorating shows on HGTV that are full of information about positive environments. Unfortunately, until I got my own cubicle here, I didn’t have much space to personalize and call my own, aside from my bedroom. Finally, all of that knowledge is put to good use! Hopefully I’ve given you something to think about when it comes to making the most of your work space.

How do you facilitate positive energy in your work space? Have any of these steps worked for you in the past? Which colors would keep your creativity flowing?

Image credit to Clipart.com.


Kelsey Leitner

Kelsey is a happy-go-lucky data entry specialist who enjoys painting and 80s movies. She could talk your ear off (and sing your ear off) when it comes to music. She loves to make people smile, and you can probably hear her laughter from a mile away. When she's not at work, she spends a good portion of her time with friends and her handsome (and very spoiled) rat terrier. You can connect with Kelsey on Google+.

Comments

  1. Eric

    For as arbitrary as Feng Shui can be, I do agree with being able to see behind you, and not having your back turned to a room’s entrance. However, the idea of using a rear-view mirror seems a little silly…think you’d a much better suggestion in simply ‘cheating-out’ and turning slightly around.

    You know, I don’t know why they haven’t yet done an office makeover/renovation show…a whole lot of people – myself included – would find it pretty useful. Think it’s time someone drops a suggestion into the box at HGTV! :)

    • Kelsey

      I completely agree, the mirror thing seems a little goofy. I have a painted picture of my dog on my desk that I can see behind me in the reflection of, that helps..but a mirror seems almost a little creepy hahaha.

      I think a lot of people would find an office makeover/renovation show really useful. It’s important to feel comfortable in your workplace, and it would be helpful to have some kind of direction!

      Thanks for reading Eric! :)

  2. Jana Quinn

    Kelsey, there are some really great tips in here that a lot of other “liven your workspace” articles seem to gloss over. Like most, you recommend that you put pictures of your loved ones on your desk, but you also mention that the pictures should be happy ones since smiles are contagious. Great thought! Unlike Eric, I think the idea of a rearview mirror sounds pretty cool in a situation when you’re not able to face the area where people walk past. Candy, too, is a great idea for your own quick sugar pick-me-up and to entice people to stop by a chat. Great tips for a cozy cube!

    • Kelsey

      Thanks Jana! I think we are going to have a few mixed feelings about the mirror thing! I keep candy in my desk sometimes and it sure makes people happy when I ask if anyone wants some, it’s like Christmas! :D

  3. Mandy Kilinskis

    Most of the pictures and posters that I have hanging up in my office feature blue and green tones to them. I didn’t even realize that those colors were so great for keeping positive zen in your cubicle!

    My pictures are all of places. Maybe I should swap some out for smiling loved ones. Thanks for the great article, Kelsey, and welcome to the squad! :)

    P.S. I don’t think I could keep that much candy at my desk. That entire jelly bean container would be gone in less than a week.

  4. Kelsey

    Thanks for the welcoming Mandy! Photographs of places are important to, I read somewhere that having pictures of places that remind you of good times can bring peace too. It’s important to fill your space with beauty, so it’s not limited to just beautiful faces! :)

    The whole candy thing can get a bit dangerous, but if you’re bringing it for sharing too you feel better that you’re making people happy and it leaves less for you to feel bad about eating. :)

  5. Bret Bonnet

    … Option 6… Cover your office with so much Chicago Bears swag that your officemates think you’re mental! :)

    • Kelsey

      Hahahaha swaaaag! Hey, if it helps you feel happy inside.. ;)

  6. Alex Brodsky

    I killed a cactus once. True story. I didn’t water it enough. That’s right, I killed a plant that lives in the desert and barely needs water. I don’t think any greenery would stand a chance in my office.

    Although if I could get that talking/singing plant from “Little Shop of Horrors,” I would buy it in a HEARTBEAT. A murderous plant is good feng shui, right?

    Cool first post, Kelsey! Enjoy the Blog Squad!

    • Kelsey

      Ohh Alex, only you. Hahahaha! Maybe you can just go out and buy a fake plant? :)

      Thanks for reading!

    • Jenna Markowski

      My friend LOVES cacti, and she’s killed a couple of them. She said they just deflate and look really weird! (Just so you feel better about killing a cactus. You’re not alone.) She also names all of her cacti after famous journalists. I also have a friend who took a bite out of a cactus. Apparently I have a lot of cactus stories!

      • Kelsey

        Lol!!! That’s too funny! I ran into a cactus plant one time and had tiny cactus needles stuck in my leg. Let me tell you, it’s not the best feeling in the world..in case you were wondering…

  7. Jill Tooley

    Welcome to the Squad, Kelsey!

    I shouldn’t be allowed to own plants, either. I have a black thumb, apparently, because I’ve managed to murder every plant I’ve ever owned. My solar-powered plastic flower is really the best option for me… (Sad face). When I was in Cubeville, I used to have a jellyfish mood lamp on my desk that added lots of ambiance. It was fun to convince people it was real! ;)

    I’ve been meaning to compile some of my favorite quotes and post them somewhere in the office. That’s a great idea! I like the fabric wallpaper idea as well. I used to cover naked corkboards with my favorite fabrics to jazz them up a bit, so it makes perfect sense for cubicle walls as well.

    • Kelsey

      My goodness, that jellyfish mood lamp is quite possibly one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen!!

      The whole fabric thing just sounds like so much fun to me, I can’t wait to do it! I haven’t had time to run out and get some that I really like, but I feel like it will definitley make my cubicle seem like a whole new place!

  8. Cybernetic SAM

    I couldn’t agree more with this post! (If you can’t tell by my cube!) I am a firm believer in creating a fun/creative space for yourself. After all work is kind of like your home away from home, we generally spend more time in the office than we do in our actual homes. I don’t think I could concentrate or be as motivated without a sense of individuality. I don’t think I have ever worked anywhere and not had some sort of a Sam decor about, even when I had a tiny desk with a cork board at a medical office I still had stuff up! :) Great Post Kelsey!

    • Kelsey

      Your cube is one of my favorites over here in Cubeville! You definitely know how to personalize your work space. :)

      Thanks for reading, Sam!!

  9. Jeff Porretto

    I’m very much a minimalist. I get frustrated with clutter (I don’t even want to talk about my cube right now). But that doesn’t mean I don’t feng shui the crap out of my space. I keep things at 90 or 45 degree angles when possible, and like having other things at least parallel to… err… some other things. I swear it makes sense in my brain if you could hear/ see it.

  10. Rachel

    Great post, Kelsey! As anyone who walks by my cube can attest to, I’m a big fan of putting up art and photos, especially of smiling friends and family. :) I keep a few quotations tacked up on the walls, too, and some colorful calendars as well. This office space is where I spend a big chunk of my time every week — so I might as well make it my own, right? :)

    I’ve thought about getting a plant, though I’m pretty sure I’d kill it … maybe someday I’ll take the plunge. :) Awesome stuff, Kelsey, and welcome to the Blog Squad!

  11. Kelsey

    I’ve actually looked at some of the pictures in your cube when I come to ask you questions.. and all of them make me smile! It’s always nice to be surrounded by happy faces. I want to get one of those mini plants because I think they’re so cute! :) Maybe we can take the plunge together! hahaha

    Thanks for reading, and for the welcoming, Rachel!

  12. Kevin Kidd

    Hi Kelsey,
    I was searching for how to control ones Ivy plant from taking over their cubicle when I ran across your article and I have implemented many of your suggestions.

    I inherited my cubicle from the previous owner while he was out on active duty. After that he returned to gather things from his cubicle before moving to a new job. I guess seeing how well I was taking care of his plant, how difficult it would be to move, he gave it to me. She, yes I refer to my Ivy as female, lives in a 10″ X 20″ planter style box on top of a board that has some lattice pieces nailed to two of the sides. The whole thing sits on top of a 4′ high book case and it’s placed right next to my cubicle entrance thereby giving me some privacy from staff passing by and something to knock on when they enter. I take good care of her and she is thriving, so much so that she winds throughout the lattice and have vines draping all over the place and one that runs half way around my cubicle. She is always a great talking point.

    For the candy thoughts. I have a penny type gumball machine that I fill with jellybeans. This helps limit how much one can eat because it’s set to dispense a small amount. So two pennies worth is perfect for the two o’clock pick me up.

    • Kelsey

      Kevin-
      The penny jellybeans sounds like a fantastic idea! It’s fun, adds color, limits your candy intake, and gives you that feeling of being a little kid again! I may need to look in to getting one myself. :o)

      That’s great to hear about your Ivy plant, it sounds like some of us here at QLP could take some tips from you on how to actually keep a plant alive in the office. Ha! (Not that any of us have killed any here, but if you read previous comments you will notice that some of us are a little hesitant to have a plant in our cubes..)

      Some days at work can obviously be a little more stressful than other days, and it’s important to have things that make you feel calm, relaxed, and happy. A lot of the things I mentioned are just simple things that for me, just remind me to breathe and remember that things aren’t as bad as I sometimes make them seem. I think it’s great that you yourself have used many of these suggestions, and I hope that they keep the positive energy flowing through your cubicle! :)

      Thank you for reading, and sharing your story!

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  14. Mandi

    Great info! I am planning next week to decorate my little cubicle space and these are great tips! I love the idea of plants and not keeping your back to the rest of the workplace!

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