5 Office Decorations Your Co-Workers Hate

By Amanda Meadows on 9 January 2015 2 comments
Photo: Pedro Serapio

Every office has one. The person with the annoying desk with too many tschotskes, light-up dolls, and odors like a mall food court. Don't be the person whom everyone jokes about at lunch. Avoid these five office decorations your co-workers hate.

1. Cheesy Motivational Posters

That's right, your "Keep Calm & ____" poster is lame and everyone judges you for it. Your intentions are good — you want to keep a positive thought nearby and encourage a good work ethic. However, all those prints and posters feel showy, and sometimes, a little condescending. Even worse are those 90s swap meet motivational posters. They do not really "motivate" anyone and are annoying to see walking past your desk.

2. Tons of Toys

Do you work at a pop culture or media company? Great, everyone will likely have tons of pop culture ephemera on their desks. But if you don't? Showcasing a pile of action figures, plush dolls, stuffed animals, and bobbleheads can be the antithesis of professionalism. Worse yet? Anything that can appear sexist, like sexy comic book or anime figures of any gender are not a good idea. In the wrong company, you could look like a fanboy weirdo.

Also falling into this category are decorations that talk or flash lights, like a singing fish or a Santa doll that shouts whenever you walk by it. These irksome gizmos are the bane of your co-workers' existence.

3. Massive Indoor Plants

Your giant fern is disturbing. No one entering your workspace wants to feel like they're navigating the rainforest. Having a cute potted plant can be a great way to spruce up your desk or cubicle, but once it becomes its own entity requiring trimming with a machete, get rid of it. Brushing past someone's big plant is exactly the kind of mildly awkward work encounter that your co-workers would love to avoid.

4. Anything Smelly

Weird smells are a known enemy of the workplace. From scented oil diffusers and cinnamony pine cones to fishy lunches, distracting smells will make your cubicle mates hate you. Equally terrible are delivered gifts like flowers or edible arrangements that are kept for days as decoration. There is always someone who gets an Edible Arrangement and never eats it, leaving it on the desk to decompose like a science experiment. Trust me, that person's co-workers would love to tell their significant other to stop sending you goodies.

5. The Holiday Candy Display

You know that person who always has a festive a bowl of candy on their desk? Co-workers read that as a desperate invitation for conversation. They always get lured in at first, then will grow to resent the lame prompt for small talk. They'll soon avoid you like the old folks who give out raisins at Halloween. Instead, try treating the whole office to cupcakes once or twice a year — that will make you a hero.

What office decorations do you hate?

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Guest's picture
Nicole

Sometimes "anything smelly" is better than the scent of your over-the-wall cube mate passing gas. I'm just saying....

Guest's picture
FrugalCat

Any "boudoir" shots of the spouse. I don't care if your wife was higlighted in the 1996 "Girls of State Colleges" pictoral, it does not belong at work.