Psychology of Desk Decor: How Your Workspace Affects Your Mood and Performance

If you find yourself struggling to focus at your desk and your work performance is suffering, take a deep breath. It may not be you. How our desks and workspace is designed has a studied psychological effect on how well we work.


Take these tips and ideas into consideration for changing your environment. Some are more obvious than others.

Organization Is a Must

The most obvious one is having ample storage space for organization. There are two main problems one experiences when they don’t have a good storage system.


  • Anything that is sitting out becomes a distraction. If you don’t put something away, it’s not out of sight, out of mind. This makes focusing on one task at a time increasingly difficult. This, in turn, creates a less productive outcome since you are multitasking.


  • Being able to locate something when you need it is a bigger deal than most realize. Having storage that’s laminated in filing cabinet fashion was and is popular for a reason.


Create different compartments with the appropriate sizing for the section you need to stay organized. For instance, pens don’t need a massive space, but receipts and paperwork may.

Colors Are Important

Black and white offices often confuse workers when it comes to desk design and productivity. While we will get into how a clean look is important, this doesn’t mean that you can’t add color. In fact, you should!


Work can become boring and mundane. It’s important to evoke feelings of energy and positive feelings. Similar to how you walk into a cool coffee shop, that is a great place to read a book. However, colors should bring a personal feel that matches your personality or work vibe.


Here are some tips on colors and how to use them around your desk.


  • Tones that reflect shades of blue often reflect thoughts that are calming. It also brings about security, peace, and a serene atmosphere. If you work in a busy environment, this may be a good fit.


  • Greens offer a refreshing outlook on things. They can also represent peace and serenity but, ultimately, should feel like a fresh start when you sit down. This works well for someone who needs to recenter.


  • Yellows are commonly associated with thoughts of positivity and a bright and cheery environment. In general, the brighter the color, the closer to this theme you are. If your work is particularly draining, this is a great choice.


Having good lighting also plays an important role in showcasing your colors and keeping productive energy throughout the day.

Clean Cut

Regardless of what color scheme you choose to go with, there is one rule you should circle back to. You should always aim for a clean-cut look. When there are too many colors, patterns, or things going on, your brain tends to get overstimulated. No matter how much you love the craziness, it produces a work environment that is less optimal for focus and productivity.


Think of clear lines and very distinct areas for certain items and staples on your desk. When everything has a “home,” sort of speak, you don’t have to worry about getting disorganized.

Choosing the Right Desk Decor

Work can be a tough place for some people. But even if it is your happy space, your desk should be a great reflection of your personality. This means choosing the right desk decor and furniture to complete the look.


Choosing a few optimal pieces along with storage can turn your desk into the perfect workspace. When you enjoy where you are, you won’t find yourself daydreaming as much about being somewhere else. Ok, well, maybe a little, because who doesn’t dream about being in Hawaii?