I Love My Cubicle: How to Thrive in Small Workspaces
Small on-demand workspaces, including cubicles, can be very cost-efficient and productive environments for startup companies when faced with high commercial real estate rates. You don’t need to have full reign of a sprawling corner office to feel inspired and get your work done. But, if you’re about to be king or queen of a small domain, you’ll want to make your space unique to you—whether that means swapping the cube for an open coworking desk or making it more contemporary and personalized with some cool space-savers and functional feng shui. Turn that creative corner into an accessible and inspiring modern office space with our favorite alternatives to the conventional cubicle experience.
1. Decorate Your Workspace
Even in a tiny cube, you can settle into your workstation with a smile. Try these simple decorating ideas to take the lid off of the box:
- Control your chaos. Some professionals thrive in a pile of cluttered creativity, but if you’re feeling squelched in a small space, it’s time to clean up. Bring structure to your wild ideas by investing in a cork board or using the walls to lay out plans and inspiring images. Utilize spacemakers with reckless abandon. We love handy compartments for small, indispensable tools, like paperclips, staples and pens.
- Practice desk feng shui. Yes, it’s a thing. Suggestions abound for arranging the quadrants of your desktop to best promote a healthy and productive workday. Whether or not you believe in the metaphysical implications of arranging physical space, you will benefit from setting up your supplies and personal touches in ways that help you feel balanced at work.
- Go green. Buy a living plant. Put in on your desk. Voilà. This quiet desk mate will work wonders for your psyche, partly because the human brain associates the verdant color with balance. A glimpse of nature will also de-sterilize a corporate space, especially if you don’t have a window. Learn more about the psychology of interior design from the LiquidSpace blog.
2. Dare to Be Different
Sometimes to get things done, you have to do away with four square walls. Nowadays, you can score pop-up cardboard desk sets or stackable workstations designed to accomplish a collaborative coworking space on the go. On days when you need a break from your “real desk,” these out-of-the-box designs let you carry your workspace with you, like a self-contained spaceship. The only trick is finding a place to land. We’ve gathered some of our favorite alternative work areas. What do you think?
This basket-weave office may not offer much noise control, but can’t you picture a peaceful backyard office with a sunroof effect? When the day is done, close up shop and you’re done. This small space is easy, breezy, and light enough to be truly portable.
Inflatable pop-up workspaces are catching on, and we’re big fans. Savvy professionals will stop at nothing to get work done wherever they can find some peace and quiet. When you’re working on the fly, wouldn’t it be great if you could inflate your private office like an air mattress for houseguests? You can! Just no thumbtacks in the walls, please.
3. Walk While You Work
In a traditional cubicle, you sit a lot. For a clearer mind and better overall health, you need to keep moving throughout the day. We know how difficult this can be, even in a large office, so consider installing a treadmill desk to kick-start your circulation. It can be a challenge to stay upright and on task when you’re first starting out, but top professionals swear by this office-gym hybrid. That’s a stride in the right direction.
Follow the LiquidSpace blog for more conversations about professional life, starting a business, and finding alternative ways to work in the world.