Investing in office aesthetics could very well boost employee morale and overall well-being. Employees who are more satisfied with their personal workspaces are happier, more engaged, and less likely to quit, according to one 2016 report.
Creating a warm, welcoming office matters—but a hurdle for many workplace teams is the budget (i.e. freeing up cash for design upgrades). Now for a bit of good news: Sprucing up your office space doesn't have to break the bank. We've done our homework and narrowed down the best accessories to make your workplace feel way more inviting.
The kicker? They're all under $25.
Incorporate some greenery
Plants can go a long way in fostering employee wellness, doing everything from promoting good feelings to improving cognition and focus. For starters, indoor plants act as natural air filters—and researchers recognize air quality as one of the four components that contribute to workplace stress. (The others are sound, lighting and temperature.) Being around plants also mimics being out in nature, which has been shown time and time again to zap stress hormones.
Inexpensive indoor plants also look great, providing a splash of greenery to an otherwise blank canvas. Hit up your local flower shop for some pro tips on which types of buds would grow best in your office.
One of the cutest options is the Hoya heart plant from The Sill - $20.
Upgrade your lighting
Again, lighting is another detail that plays directly into mood. Natural light is always best. Reconfiguring your office in a way that positions employees closer to windows or skylights is ideal, especially since Northwestern University researchers say that natural light in the workplace helps workers feel better.
Don't fret if your office isn't flush with natural light. There are plenty of budget-conscious lighting options at IKEA and Target. Both retailers offer a variety of styles for under $25, from standing lamps to shades and spotlights. Insider hack: "Daylight" bulbs can help imitate natural light in the office.
Check out the Fado table lamp from Ikea - $24.99
Work in essential oil diffusers
Researchers have found a direct link between aromatherapy and depression symptoms. It stands to reason that it can only help in setting the right mood for employees. Experts recommend lemon, lavender, jasmine, rosemary, cinnamon and peppermint for their productivity-boosting properties. Another bright spot here is that it doesn't cost a lot to incorporate aromatherapy into your office routine. Essential oil diffusers are subtle, easy to use, and typically retail for less than $25.
A great touch to your office space is the InnoGear Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser - $25
Up your artwork
Art doesn't just jazz up a physical space—it also appears to directly influence our mood and motivation. One University of Massachusetts at Amherst study found that many employees who worked in spaces that were decorated with artwork were less stressed, more creative and more likely to be productive. Don't worry, you don't have to invest in upscale art installations.
Art.com has a whole section devoted to pieces under $25.
Organize away the clutter
Marie Kondo brought tidying up into the mainstream, and with good reason. There's plenty of research linking clutter to stress, especially among women. Researchers have also found that clutter appears to contribute to procrastination. These are traits most office managers definitely want to weed out of the workplace. Getting organized is the antidote — from paperless filing systems to streamlined storage. Check out these affordable options at Poppin to help get your office clutter under control.
Check out all the fun colors of this Large Desk Organizer from Poppin - $25
At the end of the day, making your workspace a more welcoming place to be doesn't require deep pockets—just some creative thinking and a willingness to think outside the box.