Some people spend over 2,000 hours a year working in a cubicle. This can be a sterile environment, so personalizing it can make the workplace more pleasant and help to keep the worker motivated. Before changing the look of the cubicle, it is important to find out if company policy allows the use of decorations. If it does, cubicle decoration can be as simple as adding a few photographs or a colorful calendar. Going overboard with cubicle decoration, however, can detract from maintaining a professional environment.
Some themes should be avoided when decorating a cubicle. Political, racist, or religious themes can disrupt a working environment, so should not be used. Erotic paintings or statues can get a person in trouble and should be avoided as well. If a cubicle is shared by two or more people, it is important to make sure that any decorations are acceptable to all workers in the space.
Many cubicles are done completely in gray, with gray walls, counters, and carpeting. Adding a lamp with a colorful shade can help break up the monotony. There are many different styles and colors to choose from, so it is easy to find a lamp that will reflect an individual's taste.
Plants can add life and color to a cubicle. Some plants that do well with the lighting in an office environment are the peace lily, kalanchoe, small cacti, and sanseveria, also known as snake plant or mother-in-law’s tongue. African violets also thrive in an office and add a splash of color with their constant blooms. Silk flowers are an attractive option for cubicle decoration for those without green thumbs or who do not have the time to water or fertilize desk plants.
Hanging a painting or colorful poster will add color to a dreary workspace. For example, sports enthusiasts can display trophies or football pennants to make the cubicle more inviting. Another option for cubicle decoration is to change the decor with each season or holiday.
If a company doesn’t allow cubicle decoration, there are still a few things that can be done to personalize the work area. All computers have screen savers, and it is easy to set one up that will appeal to the individual. This might be a series of photos or a colorful, changing pattern. A scrolling marquee with a favorite quote or inspirational saying can be used as a screen saver, which can be changed daily. It is also possible to purchase colorful folders to organize paperwork or use a mouse pad that reflects a hobby or a favorite piece of art.