If your friend, partner or mom came to visit you at work and you showed them your workspace, what would they think? Would they think you had done a nice job of making your workspace somewhere personal and pleasant to spend time? Would they instantly know the workspace was yours just by looking at how you had decorated it? Or would they think they were looking at something out of a depressing Orwellian novel depicting a cold, corporate future?
If it's the latter and your workspace is only that, then you should really think about customizing it a little to your liking. That might mean adding some decorations and ornaments, it might mean rearranging your belongings or it might mean customizing your computer. Either way, this has tons of advantages.
1. It Fights Stress
If your desktop has pictures of your friends and family in the background then you'll find that this helps to improve your mood no end. We are naturally inclined to produce happiness hormones whenever we see smiling faces and these can work as fantastic natural ways to fight stress. Plants do very much the same thing. Most importantly though, because it's your stuff you will be sure to find it comforting and this can make your office space feel more homely and less distressing.
2. It Makes You More Creative
What's more, once you make your desk more personalized, you'll also become more creative. Why? Because when you relax you are actually better at finding more creative solutions to problems. Add a potted plant to your workspace and you might just find that you are more likely to get that promotion. Who'd have thought?
3. It Makes You More Alert
Many workspaces are very bland and stark until you put something in place to make them more interesting. If you work in a stereotypical cubical then there will be zero stimulation to make you feel awake and alert. Is it any wonder you catch yourself nodding off and head-butting the keyboard so often?
On the other hand though, if you surround your workspace with interesting colors and images, this has been shown to help make you more alert and switched on. This is what you call a 'rich' environment and it is very effective at making your brain turn on.
4. It Can Boost Productivity
Customization isn't just about putting pictures and plants around the place. Likewise, it's also about using desk trays, notice boards and other tools and features that can help you boost your productivity. And because you're boosting productivity in ways that suit you you know that it's going to work perfectly with your particular workflow and style.
5. People Will Know it's Yours
Decorating your workspace is also a good way to tell people who you are and what your interests are. This will prevent people from nicking your workspace but more importantly it will also provide them with lots of potential conversation starters. Don't be 'worker 3871', be 'Billy'. That way you'll make many more friends and be much more liked and respected.