decorating your office

Decorating Your Office: 4 Simple Ways to Increase Satisfaction and Productivity

Kristy Palombo

Reading time: about 4 min


  • Professional development

We spend a third of our life at work. While at the office, you’re expected to be productive, creative, and social. The design of your office greatly affects how you feel and think. 

If you haven't consciously noticed how your mood is affected in different settings, I'm sure you've tried to fight for the window seat or wish you could add some color to the walls. This is an outward display of your psychological need for a pleasant space.

This isn’t just important for workers. Employers should take note that millennials expect to be happy at work and are looking for an experience, not just a paycheck. 

By giving your employees the chance to decorate their office space, they will feel more fulfilled at work, which will not only create a better company culture but also save you money because unhappy employees are more likely to take more sick days and be less productive.

Whether you’re an employer or employee, you can make positive changes to your office space and help everyone feel happier to be there.

Here are four ideas for decorating your office to make it a pleasant place to be.

decorated office space

1. Own your space!

Bring in some picture frames, plants, decorative cup holders, or even a lamp. Having ownership of what your workspace looks like will have you feeling more committed to your team and increase your productivity by as much as 32%.

As an employer, let your employees have some freedom in what their space looks like; maybe even provide a small stipend to allow them to purchase something that makes them feel "at home" at their desks.

Go-getters keep family photos, sticky notes, and healthy snacks at their desk. See what your workspace says about your productivity.

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Go-getters keep family photos, sticky notes, and healthy snacks at their desk. See what your workspace says about your productivity.

2. Take advantage of windows and plants

For 5 years, I studied as an engineer in the basement of a very bland building. We frequently came in before the sunrise and left after sunset. The walls were white brick, and there were no decorations of any sort.

Naturally, we wanted to be outside and found ourselves drawing windows looking out to beautiful landscapes on our chalkboards. Why did we resort to this solution? We were looking for relief and looking at nature relaxes the mind.

Don't have a window? Bring nature to you! Having a plant nearby will help you to recover from demanding activities and lower your stress levels.

Nervous you'll just kill it? Try some of these low hassle plants:

3. Pay attention to color, lighting, and shape

Different colors have different effects on how we perform. Blue and green help us with our creativity while red seems to help us pay attention to detail. Lighting is also an important factor. Dimmer lights promote freedom and therefore creativity, while brighter atmospheres help induce analytical and evaluative thinking.

Using the circle and avoiding the square can create an inviting space and trigger brain activity that is associated with reward and aesthetic appreciation. Sitting in a circle also fosters collaboration and team work. King Arthur seemed to be ahead of the game with that one.

4. Plan first

Can't decide what you want it to look like? Don't want to be patching holes or returning everything you just bought? I understand. 

My husband and I just started renting our first home, and we love it. The whole place is tan (walls, couch, carpet, and tile), and we wanted to make it feel more homey and colorful by putting in some shelves. Kudos to the landlord for letting us drill holes in the wall! 

Of course, we only had one shot, and I was filled with anxiety as to how my front room was going to turn out, especially when my husband started explaining his idea to me. In order to resolve the issue, we decided to use Lucidchart.

We uploaded a picture of our wall, created a rectangle, turned it brown like our shelves, and then changed their size and location until I proved I was right. Below are the actual diagrams we made in Lucidchart compared to a picture of our wall now.

wall design before picturewall design after picture

You can also find a wire grid or use a pegboard to create a personalized space. This will allow you to move your decorations around without any consequences and change the arrangement as much as you'd like


When faced with tight schedules, landlord restrictions, and a budget, it's hard to make the design of your office space a priority. However, owning your office space, including nature, playing with lighting and colors, and creating a modular way to decorate are four simple steps that can go a long way in keeping yourself and your employees productive and happy.

Update your office space with our floor plan maker.

About the author

Soon to be mechanical engineer graduate from BYU, Kristy Palombo will be using her skills to do everything but mechanical engineering at Lucid. She currently works with Product Support and loves to help others love Lucid as she does. She enjoys problem solving, helping others, wake boarding and making anything sweet!

About Lucidchart

Lucidchart, a cloud-based intelligent diagramming application, is a core component of Lucid Software's Visual Collaboration Suite. This intuitive, cloud-based solution empowers teams to collaborate in real-time to build flowcharts, mockups, UML diagrams, customer journey maps, and more. Lucidchart propels teams forward to build the future faster. Lucid is proud to serve top businesses around the world, including customers such as Google, GE, and NBC Universal, and 99% of the Fortune 500. Lucid partners with industry leaders, including Google, Atlassian, and Microsoft. Since its founding, Lucid has received numerous awards for its products, business, and workplace culture. For more information, visit

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