3 Ways to Spark Joy in the Workplace (Even if You Work From Home)

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“Sparking joy” is a phrase made popular by Marie Kondo, organization expert and founder of KonMari Media, Inc. “In Marie Kondo’s books, spark joy is a loose translation of the Japanese word ときめく (tokimeku), literally ‘to flutter,’ ‘to throb,’ ‘to palpitate,’ or ‘to beat fast,’ as your heart would when it feels excited,” stated Dictionary.com. Kondo suggests that decluttering a space and keeping only the things that cause your heart to skip a beat, only the things that make you feel happy, is the best way to spark joy. This method can be implemented in the workplace, even if you work from home, and there is no better time than now to spark joy. 

How to Spark Joy at Work, No Matter Where You Work

Whether you work from a business location or a home office, you can increase your job satisfaction by putting these three joy-sparking tips into practice: 

1. Get rid of what you don’t need and tidy up — Take a look at your workspace. Do you see anything you don’t need? Perhaps there is a tape dispenser on your desk that you haven’t used in months, or maybe you have a generic paperweight that is taking up space. Toss those items. After you’ve gotten rid of what you don’t need, start tidying up. For example, remove everything from your desk and wipe it down, round up all stray paper clips and put them in a container, and organize your papers. These are the first steps to feeling more joyful in your workspace. 

2. Eliminate what you don’t like — While it’s important to discard things you don’t truly need, it’s equally important to get rid of what you don’t like, or what doesn’t “spark joy,” as Kondo would say. As you scan your workspace, take note of any items that have negative connotations or make you feel sad or anxious Don’t hesitate to remove those things from the place you work. By doing this, you’ll be clearing space for new items that make you feel good, or even creating a minimalist environment if that is what makes you feel most joyful. 

3. Obtain workspace items that would make you happy — Is there something that would bring you joy to see in your workspace each day, such as a plant, a new desk, a more comfortable chair, or a piece of artwork for your wall? If so, make it a priority to obtain at least one of these items. If money is tight, search for some online secondhand furniture that can be delivered to your doorstep. Another option is to “shop” your own house and choose artwork from various areas of your home to relocate to your workspace. 

As you go about purging irrelevant and unnecessary items from the place you work, as well as adding new items that bring you joy and cleaning your workspace, it’s important to maintain a sense of gratitude. “Your desk has done a lot for you,” wrote a contributor to The Muse. “It’s been a place where you’ve accomplished so much…. And being grateful for all it’s provided you—and thanking those items you have to let go for contributing to your success and happiness—forces you to reflect on everything you’ve done up until this point in this one small spot.”

What the World Needs Now Is Joy

Due to the current global health crisis caused by COVID-19, joy is more important than ever. Employees are bogged down by stress from changes in work location, the threat of job loss, depressing news stories, and grief over the loss of life due to COVID-19. It’s critical that employees do all they can to add joy to their lives. Organizing your workspace, no matter where it is, is an easy way to spark a little more joy, which is just what we all need right now. 

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