How to Make Your Office Cozier

From the moment you step into the office, in your pajamas or your suit, there’s an inbox and calendar full of to-dos for you. Coffee keeps you fueled and feeling warm during a busy shift, and you only have eyes for your computer, paperwork and the clock to signal lunch.

As the day wears on, though, office chairs can lead to back aches, and the walls start closing in.

Your office doesn’t have to make you feel claustrophobic, no matter how long your day may be. Shift an uncomfortable workspace into a cozier environment for both you and your clients. Here’s how.

1. Invite Nature In

Four walls and boring decorations are as “blah” as you feel on a long day. When you look up and need a distraction, you want something to soothe and ground you. What’s better than letting Earth energy in and letting soil soothe your soul?

Plants in the office benefit you at work by improving the air quality and boosting your mood and productivity. On days you aren’t able to take a break and walk around, plants are wonderful to give you access to nature. Western and southern facing windows get the best plant light, and mint, aloe and the peace lily are all hard-to-kill plants for the office.

2. Snuggly, Elegant Throws

An elegant throw or snuggly blanket adds warmth and a personal touch to the office. Choose a throw with warm or soothing colors as a pop of color in your workspace, making it feel more accessible. Lend a coworker a blanket to keep them warm as you work as a team.

Throws are useful to stay warm on those drafty winter days, when the insulation is horrible, and the building is always cold. Natural fibers are less irritating to the skin, and flannel or wool blankets are great insulators for chilled skin during the winter.

3. A Cozy Chair

Your office chair isn’t the only chair that needs to be comfortable. Clients and employees should feel welcomed into your office with a comfortable place to sit and talk.

On days when you just can’t sit in the same chair anymore, you can always take a break in your reading chair, too — winding up with your latest guilty pleasure read and a nice cup of tea. We won’t tell.

4. A Refuel Bar

Sadly, you can’t add whiskey to your coffee at work. However, you are allowed to have a mini snack and refreshment bar all to yourself.

Add protein bars, dark chocolate, fruit, crackers and cheese. Keep your own stock of coffees, teas, juices, energy drinks and water. Share your stash with clients — or keep it all for yourself.

5. One Great Piece of Art

Fill up one wall with an interesting and thought-provoking art piece, whether that’s Monet or not. Don’t let eyestrain or stress get the best of you: Let your eyes take in an old world map or well-woven tapestry to reclaim inspiration.

Decorating doesn’t have to be complicated or take up every wall. It just needs to appeal to your productivity and personal aesthetic.

6. An Ambient Desk Lamp

After staring at a screen for hours, harsh overhead lighting will affect your work ethic. Ambient lighting reduces eyestrain and keeps your body clock synced with day and night.

Don’t overlook a great lamp. A cool blue or bold red shade may appeal to you, or maybe the lamp is steampunk or modern. Take it easy on your eyes with ambient lighting that also adds warmth to your office.

7. Chaos-Free and Clutter-Free

Your job duties come with many challenges, and one of those is keeping your office chaos-free and clutter-free. A little clutter helps the creative mind with innovative thinking, because that’s how some people work. Too much clutter, however, will affect your productivity and ability to focus.

Spend at least ten minutes daily, maybe five in the morning and five before you clock out, organizing your space. Put away items you’re done using. Wipe down your office equipment. Close the blinds. Even doing one task each day will keep your office better organized. Get yourself set up for the next day, just as you’d lay out clothes at home for the next morning.

Cozy Comfort for Productive Work Days

After you make your office cozier, you’ll walk in the next morning and feel less stressed. You’ll have your coffee ready to go in the machine and a clear desk ready to begin the day. At midday, take a break with a book in your comfortable reading chair. Add a throw and some tea for a mini-escape.

Still working after sunset? Your ambient desk lamp will bring warmth to your space and keep your eyes focused on the task.

See how a cozier office makes you more productive, focused and happier at work? Bring a touch of home to your workspace, or set up your home workspace for function and comfort, and watch the mood shift to a brighter stress-free environment.

Sarah Landrum

Sarah Landrum recently graduated from Penn State with degrees in Marketing and PR. Now, she's a freelance writer and career blogger sharing advice on navigating the work world and achieving happiness and success in your career. You can find her tweeting on her coffee breaks @SarahLandrum