Americans spend more time in the office than most other industrialized countries, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD). On good days, the office can be a great environment for getting things done.
On bad days? Well, a cubicle can be a soul-crushing box where you watch your life's seconds tick by.
Americans work nearly 1,800 hours each year, according to OECD stats. A well-designed office can go a long way towards boosting morale and improving productivity.
Here's how to make your cubicle more tolerable and fun.
1. Fun Posters
Do you love the outdoors? How about whitewater rafting?
You can pin adventure posters on your wall to remind yourself that work pays for your hobbies and getaways. Posters of your favorite athletes can also provide motivation.
Such images provide psychological balance: They are pleasant reminders of your passions outside work.
Flowers, such as red roses or yellow daffodils, can make any desk more pleasant and uplifting. A 2013 study by scientists at the University of Exeter concluded that plants aid concentration, increase productivity and improve employees' wellbeing by 47 percent.
If you don't want the associated maintenance of real plants, artificial ones can do the trick. For example, silk flowers can add color to your cubicle without the hassle of maintenance.
3. Electric Foot Massager
Can’t take it anymore? Burning the midnight oil and repetitive data entry will often have that effect.
An electric foot massager should do the trick, and whisk you away to fantasies of therapeutic massage at a high-end spa in faraway Thailand -- or some exotic place.
Close your eyes and take deep breaths as the foot massager does its magic. When you open your eyes, you'll be transported back inside your cubicle where a full inbox awaits your attention, but at least you'll be rejuvenated.
4. Small Fan
Office buildings can be notorious for either being too cold or too hot. If you live in states like Texas or Florida, the office can be a warm place, especially during the summer.
Bringing a small fan can provide you with some control of your surroundings, and make you more comfortable. You'll also get the satisfaction of knowing that annoying, gossipy co-workers are sweating like pigs.