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Let the Sunshine In: How to Brighten Up Your Office for the Summer

When you first think of an office or a workplace setting, you probably don’t imagine a sleek, groovy looking office space with great lighting. Typically, if you’re anything like me, your image of the office is full of grey, fabric colored walls enclosed around a desktop with a keyboard and mouse. Boring, drab and utilitarian at best. At worst, the office design and set-up can drain creativity and suck the fun and life out of you hour by hour. OK, perhaps this is a bit dramatic, but office designs can really have a negative effect on you. A drab setting may make do during the winter, but when summer rolls around and the sun is shining, it can be difficult to work in a drab environment. So, why not take some steps to brighten up your office? Go ahead, let the sunshine in and take a minute to look at our tips on how to brighten up your office for the summer.

Whether you have your own office, a cubicle or just a desk, there are things you can do to add a bit of life and spice to your space.

Plants
You may not have a green thumb, but taking care of a simple desk plant is easy-peasy. On top of that, the benefits of having a plant in your space certainly outweigh the time it takes you to water it. First off, plants offer a natural escape from the utilitarian, sterile environment that usually inhabits the workplace. Computers, desks, phones- all of these things are materials that lack any sort of familiarity with nature. Adding a plant to the mix can offer some relaxation when needed and a breath of fresh air.

Color
Almost everything in the office goes along with a grey-black color theme. You computer is great or black, your file cabinets are the same and folders lack any splash of color. Instead of working in drab color, switch out your file folders for colored ones and stay away from the monochromatic color scheme that so many offices stick to.

Lighting
Most offices employ fluorescent lighting. This kind of lighting has its purposes, but it can be really harsh on the eyes and your mood. Lighting plays a large part in how we feel, how we work and the mood we are in. Fluorescent lighting can be harsh, so instead add some light of your own. Bring in a small desk lamp to add some more light to your space. In doing this you can also add a touch of your own personality by picking a fun color or a fun lamp shade.

Pictures
I’m definitely not one of the workers in the office that covers my desk with pictures of my family or friends, but I’ve certainly thought about it. Adding pictures to your space can offer an escape from a stressful day and help you remember, “Hey, yeah, I have a life outside of this space.” It’s a great way to personalize your space or desk and can help warm your area up.

Art
Like your bedroom or any other room in your house or apartment, this space is yours. If you wouldn’t leave your room undecorated and leave your walls bare, then don’t do that in your office either. You spend eight or more hours at this space every day, so you should make sure it’s comfortable. Adding a few pieces of art that you love or pictures that inspire you can help turn your space into your own.

No matter what kind of space you have, be it a cubicle, a desk or an office, you can do many things to make it your own and to make it bright. You don’t have to be stuck in the monochromatic color schemes that most offices are stuck in. Take some time and brighten up your office with color and light.

P.S. While researching for this article, I came across an interesting and awesome product: Cubicle Paper! It’s an easy way to get rid of the great drab of most cubicles and can add a fun touch to your area.

IMAGE: Courtesy of Ms. Lina Lee

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter