The latest megatrends in the broad field of desk organization ideas provide you with an endless number of options. In order to give you an idea which desk organization suits your needs, we created a guideline and compiled tried and tested office organization tips. Learn more about desk organization strategies and check out our selection of ideas. We gathered a ton of inspiration from our coworking spaces around the world.
How to make use of desk organization ideas
As workplace fashion has evolved, focusing more on creativity and comfort, so has office organization. Today’s desk organization ideas combine functionality, fun, and aesthetics in a way never seen before.
There are intelligent solutions available for small office desks, large multi-functional work tables and even shared work desks in coworking spaces. Ideas are ranging from smart hacks and DIY office organizers to tips for making the most of office basics to additional office accessories and last but not least healthy office plants.
The great popularity of ideas around office organization highlights the fact that a thoughtful office desk organization can help to sustain personal well being at the workplace. In fact, useful desk organization ideas are an essential part of creating your happy place in the working world. The right combination ensures a sound work-life balance, especially when remote work is your chosen lifestyle.
An American study by researchers from Eastern Kentucky University found that nearly 90 % of workers personalize their offices (or cubicals) through family photos, books, coffee cups and other personal belongings.
However, a truly efficient desk organization does not easily come to mind during hectic work days. Endless meeting marathons and the daily work routine may prevent us from getting the creative juices flowing and identifying essential aspects of organizational needs. Either way, the key to a valuable office organization is to take a step back in order to experience a moment of awareness. The following steps give you the opportunity to do so, no matter what your work situation is right now. Plan your desk upgrade properly, choose suitable objects and take your productivity to the next level.
“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.”
Benjamin Franklin, Founding Father of the United States
1. Embrace the office etiquette
Creating a better office organization entails a lot of positive effects. It does not only reduce stress and increases your productivity.
Moreover, it will change the behavior of team members and the way coworkers perceive your work ethics. Subsequently strategically arranging your office will benefit the company culture. For example, simple changes like labeling shared office supplies will practically limit the number of interruptions during your workday. People are empowered to help themselves when in search of needed office supplies as they do not need to ask you for assistance anymore. As a consequence, you will be distinguished as a leading example for setting up helpful structures.
Though, the downside of office organization and complementing decor is when an office desk corresponds with your personal taste, but not with the unspoken rules of office etiquette and the underlying expectations of your colleagues, business partners, and clients. You do not need to satisfy everyone, but working with different personalities means to be considerate. This advice also applies to people in a higher position.
For example, placing a large desk in your office and showing it off through glass doors may create the impression of you being in a powerful situation. But what if these kinds of power games are not appreciated? Also, a scented candle or a speaker for streaming music can be annoying for your coworkers. Even a few personal photos on your desk might cause an uncomfortable situation as you need to be prepared for questions on family members, pets or holidays.
Our expert advice:
Invest in a pair of wireless headphones in case you work in an open workspace. In the area of personalization choose a piece of art that says you. Even if there are no empty walls you can present artwork in a nice frame placed on your office desk or used as a wallpaper for your laptop. A personal touch like this provides you with inspiration when needed or functions as a reminder of an important moment in your life. In comparison to the display of family photos, this is a more subtle approach to add personal touches to your professional surroundings.
2. Built to your space
A very practical approach to improve your desk organization with minimum effort is to ask the right questions first. Opt for simplicity and be honest to yourself to find out what changes your future work desk really needs.
How much time do you actually spend at your desk? You do not know how to stay organized and comfortable while working in different places? What are the most daring issues you have with your office desk organization right now? Is it the chaos you need to manage? Do you need more creative impulses? Do you feel your dedicated office desk just needs a style update as it has become a place that provokes rather strange comments than nice compliments? Challenge yourself in order to identify optimization potential.
Next, think of the existing environment and space that is available for you as well as the type of office equipment you would like to surround yourself with in the future. These questions are linked to each other and are ideal to tackle after the previous analysis of your needs. What should be the shape and size of the basic office equipment? What is a must and what is rather dispensable? How should your new office essentials feel when holding them in your hand? Would you like to invest in metal rather than in plastic?
The following steps give you a structure in the process of optimizing your work desk:
- Try to determine your most urgent needs.
- Measure your office desk or at least estimate the size. In case you do not work at a dedicated desk think of the size of the office bag you will probably need.
- Decide on sizes, shapes and specific materials of your basic office supplies.
Imagine your new office desk, get inspired and create a mood board by remembering and collecting photos of office desks you like. The measurements of the work desk will help you to stay realistic about your office decor ideas and identify appropriate desk organizer ideas. At the end of this process, your vision of your new workspace will be more precise and it will be time to think about a few selected office desk accessories that would even fit a small desk. In that way, you focus on a few selected items you really love.
Our expert advice:
In case you tend to functionality try to open up for a more creative approach as you will need some visually appealing items to feel comfortable and inspired at your new workplace. This can be a plant such as a cactus to add some fun to your desk or some greenery that takes care of your daily amount of oxygen needed in your office cubicle. Another approach is to add a personal touch through artwork or carefully chosen memorabilia. When you have a cluttered desk remember that a clean desk can help to feel more serene and thus make it easier to focus on your work.
3. Customize for comfort
Before you are doing your online shopping or heading to your favorite local shop for office supplies decide on your budget first. In this context think about the options to improve your existing furniture and possibilities for DIY office organization.
In case you are an employee check on your options for back-friendly furniture such as a standing desk that your company might provide. You can also ask for drawers to create more storage options, which is actually not part of the standard equipment in many workplaces. At each of our rent24 coworking spaces, all of our members can reach out to our community managers and ask for necessary changes to the office desk setup. Check your coworking space provider for similar support. Choose your ideal office chair and the height of your computer desk, try to cope with uneven floors by adjusting the table legs and fit the office lamp to the lighting conditions you mostly work in.
For the second phase of your office desk optimization follow the steps below:
- Think of DIY office organization ideas.
- Look for support to adjust appliances.
- Decide on a reasonable budget.
Our expert advice:
Mobility works best when you accept the fact that certain appliances are vital for creating comfort and stay professional on the go. In general for remote work, it is very practical to go on a hunt for the most suitable office bag that can carry all your essential office supplies. Very helpful is an ergonomic seat cushion which provides comfort wherever you work.
4. Make a low budget shopping list
A thought through shopping list prevents you from creating new clutter and ensures that you keep focussing on important office supply without spending too much money. Highest priority is to purchase basic office supplies and not necessarily desk accessories.
In case you are not sure yet about the accessories for your new work desk just skip this task for the time being. Interior design takes time and sometimes it is necessary to reflect on your new impressions. Probably adjustments need to be made to optimize your new desk organization. In any case, there is still plenty of time to add personal touches.
A list of the best essential office supplies:
- highlighters, colorful pens, and post-its
- scissors, tape, paper clips, and stapler
- power bank and flash drive
- folders and envelopes
- laptop bag
5. Make space for your pet
Many of us spend more than a few hours at work. Therefore it is likely that our furry friends will accompany us at some point. Luckily a lot of companies invite their employees to bring their dogs to the office. A growing number of coworking spaces offer this opportunity as well.
Nevertheless, the decision to let your pet join you during working hours means to get a few additional office supplies. These spendings will not only increase the convenience of your companion but also facilitate your time together. rent24 is one of those office space providers who believe in the positive effects our pets can have on our stress level and productivity.
Just imagine there are several dogs at your workspace. Probably not all of them get along with each other. A little corner where your dog can relax and be for himself decreases the possible stress level caused by these conflicts. It also creates an opportunity to send the dog to his space, because pets do not understand when an interruption is not suitable.
The shopping list for furry friends joining your workspace:
- Bring a sleeping pillow or a blanket your pet feels comfortable with.
- Have a leash ready that is long enough to tie to your desk.
- Provide your pet with two bowls for water and food.
- Do not forget a toy, but bring one that does not squeak.
6. How to stay organized
There is a ton of inspiration that can help to create a modern office. Afterward, the goal is to stay organized, which means to get more disciplined and be more open for continuous optimization. As in many areas, again, it’s all about the mindset.
Try to create a routine which consists of a monthly digital detox and a weekly cleaning session to take care of all your physical belongings. Erase old files on your laptop as well as in your digital cloud. Pull out everything on your work desk and get rid of every physical item that is no longer needed. Spot the missing parts when reorganizing your tasks and projects. Dust, wipe with suitable cleaners and take out the trash.
- Optimize the system of your digital and physical folders.
- Label everything from cables to cabinets with a label maker.
- Download software and apps like Evernote or Google Keep embracing paperless working.
Furthermore, it is highly recommended to get rid of habits that cause clutter in the first place and try to find measures to change recurring ineffective business management. Stick to the rules you set up in order to meet your own expectations in the long run.
Author: Aline Dörfert, Senior Content Manager rent24