I work in an open plan office where everyone hotdesks. I’m used to it now but in the early days it wasn’t much fun. The daily fight to sit by the window. Away from the air con. But not too far from the kitchen. Everyone started turning up half hour early so they could nab the best place to sit. Sound familiar? You might be in need of a hotdesk makeover. It’s the best way to learn how to love your hotdesk.
More and more organisations use a hotdesk system nowadays and while HR departments say it’s the way forward, it took me a little while to get on board. What made the difference? Fabulous stationery of course!
A makeover for your hotdesk
Stationery is the perfect antidote to the unrelenting grey of the standard hotdesk. Sticky notes, memo pads, a quirky pencil case or stylish notebook. All these items can add a much needed pop of personalisation, but are small enough to stash in a teeny tiny locker so you don’t fall foul of a clear desk policy.
Own your space with stationery
There’s something about stationery, too, that helps you assert your identity. Apparently that’s why so many of us are stationery addicts. So what better way to own your space. Even if it’s just for a day.
And because stationery is relatively cheap, you can keep it fresh with regular updates. Here are some of my go-to items whenever I’m in need of a hotdesk makeover.
I put this marble memo block next to my desk phone so I can scribble down any messages that I miss while in meetings. They’re almost too pretty to throw away once the message has been actioned. But there’s plenty of them so that helps a little.
These rainbow sticky notes have brightened up the grey January days we’ve been having. As well as acting as a fun theme for an office playlist. It’s surprising how many songs have rainbows in them! They’re freestanding for instant impact. And the pedant in me appreciates that the colours are in the right order. Apart from the pink, but you can’t have too much pink stationery right? Which leads me on to…
The grey/black aesthetic can sometimes bleed into your desk accessories. I livened up my notebook with this cut pencil case that wraps around it. The elastic is nice and stretchy so it fits a range of sizes and means I’m no longer struggling to carry multiple things to every meeting. I use different colour pens depending on my mood so being able to fit them in this case means I’m less likely to lose them.
Sticky note stack
It’s bad hotdesk etiquette I know to reserve a desk the day before. But no one seems to mind if I do it using one of these beauties. They work best with a chunky black pen.
Whilst we’re on the subject
Not strictly stationery I know, but there are a couple of other things you could use to perk up your hotdesk.
The colours in this T-Rex lunchbox are absolutely popping. Some days I’m in back-to-back meetings pretty much 9-5 so having this out on my desk is a handy reminder to stop and find time for a break. There’s two compartments inside and the double catch means there’s no chance of it opening inadvertently and covering the inside of my satchel it’s crisps!
This watermelon infuser bottle is lots of fun, too. Drinking more water is always a priority. It’s easier when it’s flavoured with fruit. Strawberries are particularly good but herbs work, too – mint and parsley. And if you’re feeling particualrly adventurous you could try spices. Turmeric is my current favourite, although I admit that’s an acquainted taste!
Placing this bottle on my desk as soon as I arrive at work helps anchor me. No chance of walking past my seat when that’s there. And yes, I have sat at the wrong hotdesk by accident in the past. Portability makes it great for brightening up meetings, too.
Share your ideas for a hotdesk makeover
If you’ve ever felt frustrated by hotdesking I hope this post helps. And if there’s other items that would work well, or other methods you’ve used that helped you love your hotdesk, let me know in the comments.
The samples I’ve used in these shots were supplied by the good folks at Mustard. They’ve got all sorts of fun stuff so do check them out.