Burnout is proving difficult to avoid in 2021. With a relentless pandemic, limited services, and a lack of social interactions, the effects of stagnant or open office areas as Canadians return to the office are bound to cause decreased motivation, lowered productivity, and stress. Not to mention, the lack of individuality and openness of shared workspaces can cause social burnout, anxiety, and less cognitive energy, regardless of where you work.

Traditionally, companies restricted personal items in the office to prevent theft, reduce clutter and eliminate distractions, but thorough research and the evolution of workplace standards to include an adjustable work schedule personalization of the workplace has never been more paramount (GA, 2013).

As an essential service, Carney encourages workplace customizations to promote individuality and allow employees to feel more comfortable.

Here are a few tips to individualize your workspace.



1. Add Decor

Adding a little of your esthetic to your workspace can go a long way to helping you get comfortable at work. Décor can be an effective visual icebreaker, be it a small sign, an inspirational quote that resonates, or a colorful stapler – the possibilities are endless.  Small changes like these can help you connect with colleagues and make workspaces more inviting to you and your visitors.

2. Pictures & Computer Customization

Have pictures of your loved ones at your workstation or on your computer screen. I know it sounds cliché, but if the people you love are represented at work, you will feel more comfortable. Most people have images of their families in their common areas at home so adding pictures to your desk is said to help translate that feeling.

3. Stationary

Maybe it’s just me and my fellow A-type personalities, but there is something glorious about personalized stationery. I mean yes, pens are pens, but there is nothing like that perfect pen in your favorite colour. Planners, colourful notebooks, fancy staples, pens, sticky notes – embrace the joy of personalized stationery for your workspace.

4. Stay Organized

Few people thrive in a disheveled workspace! Disorganization creates a chaotic mind and can be exponentially stressful, especially for people that aren’t neat freaks by nature. Keeping up with task lists and keeping your space tidy will clear the mind and help you keep focused.

5. Proper Lighting

Light creates more than just visual effects; it also has psychological effects that can impact our health and well-being. Ensuring the lighting in your workspace is modified to your preferences will benefit your overall health. Add a desk lamp or move a light out of your space to make it more comfortable and if you can’t, take regular walks outside to enjoy some natural light and give yourself a moment to breathe

6. Plants

In addition to being beautiful, indoor plants have been proven to reduce stress, clean the air and lessen noise levels. Species like Philodendrons, pothos, and succulents are all robust indoor plants that are perfect for your desktop. (Ambius, 2021).
Fill your work area with things that help you feel inspired and motivated. If you are in spaces that are less modifiable like a shop or a vehicle, your options might be limited. Small changes like keeping personal items in your locker or breakroom can provide stress relief and comfort during the workday.

Comment below and let us know how you’ve personalized your workspace.