Workplace Inspiration

20 Desk Setup Ideas to Boost Work Inspiration

Avatar of Autonomous Autonomous | Feb 23, 2021
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Your desk setup determines more than the aesthetic of your office space. Did you know that the layout you choose can make or break your work experience? Many people have reported tremendous shifts in their workflow that came from doing nothing more than reorganizing their spaces or getting a few pieces of office furniture or accessories. 

Cool desk setups have great mental effects that you can only understand from experiencing them. So, what can you do in your office to get those benefits? Does it require new standing desk accessories? Do you need to make changes to your routine? Are there aspects of the desk setup to consider that have nothing to do with the physical desk? All of these are true and represent a part of the complete solution.

Share the 20 ideas below with a couple of other office workers you know that could use some additional inspiration in the workplace. Without further ado, let the precursor to the desk setup full guide commence!

20 Desk Setup Ideas to Boost Work Inspiration

1. Incorporate a Standing Desk

The final point on configuring your desk setup revolves around the office standing desk itself. In a remote context, you should try to use a home standing desk. Blood flow, posture, and energy are all critical for optimal inspiration. Sedentary habits, such as constant sitting, don't help with any of these things. Therefore, you need to have a standing desk in your workspace that allows you to take advantage of sit-stand sessions. 

Incorporate a Standing Desk

2. Get Yourself a Recliner

You've likely heard of the benefits that an ergonomic chair can bring to your office experience. Take it a step further and opt to get one that has a reclining feature. Apart from the comfort and support that the chair provides, the incline puts you in a position where you can't do much but think sometimes. Use that to your advantage to get the inspiration you need and bring ideas to life. 

Get Yourself a Recliner

3. Attempt to Create and Maintain a Minimalist Look

There is so much information out there that links adopting a minimalist desk setup to greater productivity and inspiration. If you ever wanted a demonstration of how less clutter can improve your mental space, try to set up and maintain a minimalist look on your office desk. It means you should only have the necessary items on it, which creates a needs look with a lot of space to take advantage of.  

Attempt to Create and Maintain a Minimalist Look

4. Monitor Arms Are Friends

If you have multiple monitors for your desk setup, consider having a monitor arm mounted to your desk. Much of your inspiration is going to come from what you view on your screens. Having the ability to move and rotate the said screens around freely allows you to exercise greater control over your work, which is very motivational. 

5. Heavy Stuff on the Left

This is one of those office desk setup ideas that you don't hear about too often. Essentially, you want to keep your smaller and lighter items on the right of your desk as much as possible. The bigger stuff, such as your books, should go to the left. Though you may not realize it, your mind instinctively processes things from left to right.

That means your brain registers smaller items that have less to do with work last, which can help tremendously minimize the stress that blocks inspirational thoughts.

Heavy Stuff on the Left

6. Position Is a Part of the Setup

Not every aspect of your desktop setup has to do with a mechanism or accessory placed on or mounted to the desk. The position it has in your workspace is also something for you to think about. As indicated before, you should choose one that is conducive to blocking out noise. Additionally, you also want to get as much access to natural lighting as possible. Both things contribute to a better feeling and a more inspirational workspace.

7. Time for a Drink

This is not what it sounds like, as you should not be consuming any alcoholic beverages during work time. The drink of choice here should be water. Your body is at least 60% water, and it requires quite a bit of it for your cells to function correctly. This applies to the cells that make up the brain as well, which are very important for that rush of inspiration. Don't neglect to have your desk outfitted with a cup or water bottle holder that you can reach conveniently.

Time for a Drink

8. Shelving Anyone?

Another great way to decrease clutter for your workstation setup and clear your mind for the inspirational thoughts to flow is to take advantage of shelving. This idea only works for workspaces against a wall since you need to have something to mount the shelves on. One to three shelves are usually enough to house a set of office belongings. Alternatively, you may want to consider having an overhead cabinet either affixed to your desk or the wall beside it. 

Shelving Anyone?

9. Noise Control Is Key

The two best office desk setup ideas to control noise involve desk placement and headphone use. Most likely, you're not working from a soundproof area. Try to align your desk in a manner that allows you to turn your back to the direction that is most likely to be noisy. Additionally, a set of noise-canceling earphones is recommended. Keep a headphone stand on your desk, so you can place your headphone there when it's not in use.

Not many things can halt inspiration and progress in the way noise can, so you must do your best to control Its effect on you.

10. Plants Can Work Wonders

Incorporating this idea also contributes to maintaining a sense of relaxation in your workspace. Green triggers a subconscious calming effect that helps you to take things slowly and feel inspired.

Additionally, as better quality oxygen reaches your brain, it improves your ability to think critically and clearly. Thanks to a green plant's need for photosynthesizing and the associated process by-product, your air quality gets a tremendous improvement from nothing more than having an office plant on your desk. 

The size of the flowerpot and the plant should be reasonable, considering the other things on the desktop. 

Plants Can Work Wonders

11. Reflect Yourself and Not Someone Else

As indicated before, comfort plays a big part in how inspired you feel at work. Personalizing your workspace can go a long way in helping you to feel more settled. That may include placing family pictures, art, or even toy souvenirs on your desk setup. As you look at these things, they are supposed to trigger an internal sense of relaxation. Being able to calm your thoughts is one of the first steps to boosting your level of productivity and inspiration. 

Reflect Yourself and Not Someone Else

12. Don't Forget the Snacks

Even if you ignore all the research done on the topic, your experience with your body is enough to tell you that you are way more efficient when not working on an empty stomach. So, it stands to reason that having something to munch on helps you feel inspired and think more clearly. 

Unfortunately, if there is a no eating policy at your desk, this one can't apply to you. However, you can have snacks nearby in many offices, ensuring you consistently realize your potential. This is another reason why your desk setup needs to include storage space, such as a cabinet.

13. Grab an Essential Oil Diffuser

Pleasant feelings are famous for fostering creative thoughts. One of the best ways to evoke these feelings is to immerse yourself in a pleasant aroma. Essential oil diffusers do a fantastic job of getting things smelling great. Choose your favorite fragrance and watch it work. Lavender and peppermint are two of the all-time favorites, but there are many other options for you to choose from.

Of course, an essential oil diffuser is not the only way to achieve this objective, but it remains a reliable option. Whichever way you decide to go about it, your brain should be giving off some positive vibes. Most essential oil diffusers are not too large, which means you can find a suitable corner space for them on your desk.

Grab an Essential Oil Diffuser

14. Think of Temperature Management

A typical office environment includes air conditioning, which is usually set to a very cool or cold temperature. Studies indicate that warmer environments are more conducive to clearer thinking. Your mental focus gets disturbed by lower temperatures for two reasons. 

First, you can't stop yourself from experiencing discomfort when a temperature is too cold. While that's normal, the more you think about the discomfort, the less your thought threshold can be allocated to focusing on your work. 

Your body also goes through an internal process known as homeostasis to keep everything warm inside. Even this can disturb what would generally be a balanced train of thought, as the body's effort is being directed at survival and protection. Of course, this is not a desk setup modification, but it can affect you as you work at the side desk.

15. Be Careful of Your Color Choices

Never underestimate the impact that colors can have on you. The top of your office desk should be a color that complements the room and any other equipment present. You don't want to use colors that are too loud for your workstation setup, as you are going to be unconsciously drawn to them, which reduces the amount of focus you can give to any task.

If the color scheme you are going for can be set to one that includes your favorite color, you should jump at the opportunity. Assuming your favorite color scheme is subtle enough, your office should feel that much more comfortable.

Be Careful of Your Color Choices

16. Prioritize Your Needs to Select Your Desk Elements

Choosing what becomes a part of your workspace setup can seem like a titanic task when there are so many things you want to have readily available. However, a smooth workflow requires a functional and neat space. A part of achieving this desktop state is deciding what the essential desk items are. 

This process ensures that you only use your precious desktop real estate on a need basis.

17. Conceptualize a System to Deal with Messy Cables

No matter how good you are at focusing, untidiness impacts focus and mood. Even when everything else on your desk is fine, your cables can quickly look like a mess if you ignore them. 

It becomes a problem when your ability to think comes to a screeching halt. If your desk has built-in grommets, use them. If not, you may opt for the DIY method of making a desk hole yourself, or you could purchase cable brackets to manage cable and mount along your desk edges.

Conceptualize a System to Deal with Messy Cables

18. Have a Cabinet or Drawer Handy

If you are working at a desk, the chances are that you are going to be dealing with files, documents, and other items that can contribute to a lot of clutter on your desk if they aren't put away neatly. 

Many office workers address this issue by having a filing cabinet or a single drawer handy. If your desk already has one or more drawers you can use, then you have no problem. If it doesn't, it's time to think about getting yourself a desk cabinet. 

19. Invest in Proper Lighting

Why should you spend time thinking about the lighting that's a part of your desk setup? Though you may not realize it, lighting has more to do with your mood than you may give it credit for. Additionally, depending on the activity you are doing, the illumination requirements vary. Apart from the mental consideration, the physiological aspect has to do with your eyes.

Your best bet is to take advantage of the sun's natural light and to use your desk lamp where necessary to complement the natural alternative. Remember to adjust your lamp's intensity consistently. 

Invest in Proper Lighting

20. Wear Comfortable Shoes

The first entry can seem a little shocking on a list supposed to focus on desk setup ideas. What could shoes possibly have to do with a desk? Well, you are almost always going to be wearing shoes as you work. The comfort that the shoes offer you can contribute to greater productivity or detract from it.

Inspiration often comes from a clear mental space. If your mind is even partially preoccupied with how uncomfortable your feet feel, you cannot wholly dedicate the mental energy you need to your cause. This goes double if you're going to be standing at a desk instead of just sitting.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

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