In March, the New York Post released an inter office memo from Prada’s big apple office. Big fashion designing boss Miuccia Prada has a pretty strict office décor policy that includes the following keep-things-clutter-free commandments:
“Pictures, calendars, etc. should not be taped to cubicle/office walls. Pets may not be brought to the corporate office or the store. For corporate employees, all coats should be hung in the appropriate coatroom and not kept in offices or hung over cubicle walls. Window shades should be even (either completely up or completely down) throughout one side of the floor. Items may not be placed on the window sills.”
The directive goes on to inform employees that if they don’t follow Miuccia’s call for minimalism, they “may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.”
Fired? Because you want to ring the top of your cube with the collection of happy meal toys you’ve been hoarding since kindergarten? But they’re SO CUTE!!!
Truth be told, an office can be a pretty visually offensive place. With co-workers’ puppy calendars, teddy bears, and comic strip tears all jostling for attention, it’s easy to understand why a company would want to rein in the tchotchkes. Here are slice.ca’s top 10 tips to tastefully maximize the personality of your workspace.
1. Start at the office supply store
Big box office spots like Staples and Grand & Toy actually carry some very stylish and functional work accessories. Charm the person at your office who does the ordering into letting you flip through the office supply catalog and order up some better options.
2. A good calendar goes a long way
Most people don’t shop for their own calendars. Instead, they’re usually gifted in stockings and other holiday receptacles. You should feel free to buy it yourself but visit Hallmark early or all that will be left are those creepy day planners illustrated with babies climbing out of garbage cans and crock pots.
3. Pull out some push pins
Cubicle walls can be made from some pretty nasty materials that kill your style battle before it’s begun. Pull out the push pins to start covering things up but don’t just use basic tacks. Push pins come in fun forms including colourful balls or flags and even in the shapes of gum drops and lollypops (slightly tacky but they’re small so it’s okay).
4. Plant it
Every office could use a little extra oxygen and picking a plant to green your work environment is an excellent way to freshen things up. Beware fast growing vines that will quickly turn your cubicle into a set for Jumanji 2: The jungle gets a job. Many plants will do well with only fluorescent lighting so do a little research before you buy to make sure they don’t need lots of sun.
5. Take a seat
A bad chair can mess with your back and productivity. Make sure the man invests in something ergonomic to keep your keister comfy. A design plus is that many lumbar supporting office chairs are actually contemporary and chic.
6. IKEA road trip!
If the man’s a cheap bastard, visit the “Workspace” section of the Ikea site. Their office chair selection ranges from tractor seat-style stools to overstuffed leather loungers.
7. Keep it on the level
Score as many shelves as possible for your cube. The more places you have to stash papers, binders, and books, the less cluttered your work surface will become.
8. Fill ‘er up
Stock your shelves with boxes and other good-looking receptacles. Neat Storage Essentials in Toronto sells the Bigso office accessory line from Sweden or track down their stuff in the home section of Indigo book stores. Umbra’s lineup includes wood storage trays and magnetic bulletin boards.
9. What if I work from home?
Home offices can be whatever your pad desires. If you don’t have a specific room to work from, stash your office in an armoire or closet retrofitted with a desk surface and storage so you can close things up when the work day is done.
10. Get labelled
This all might seem like a substantial personal investment to help elevate the look of your employer’s workplace. If you spend your last bit of cash on a trusty label maker though, it will be easy to spot the person who steals your new designer magazine files. And be sure to take everything away when you get a new job.
Written By: Andrew Sardone