How to decorate your desk in Gather + inspiration

With Gather, remote employees can share the same experience of decorating a desk and learning more about your teammates as you walk around a virtual office. This guide will explain how to decorate your Gather desk, and then share some pixel-perfect examples to inspire your setup!

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How to decorate your desk in Gather + inspiration

Photograph of Philip Wang
Morgan Smith

Personalizing your work desk is about more than increasing productivity. It’s about expressing yourself, energizing your workspace, and connecting with coworkers over shared interests and hobbies. 

With Gather, remote employees can share the same experience of decorating a desk and learning more about your teammates as you walk around a virtual office.

This guide will explain how to decorate your Gather desk, and then share some pixel-perfect examples to inspire your setup! 

To follow along, log in to your Gather Space or get started for free

How to decorate your desk in Gather

First things first: You’ll want to stand near your desk, but not directly at it. Imagine a real office, if someone was trying to decorate your desk while you were sitting at it – you’d be in the way. 

Your avatar works the same, in that it can get in the way of placing and removing objects. So, take a step back. Like this!

Click on Build Tool in the lower navigation bar. This will place a grid over the main view, which can help you align objects. Off to the right, you’ll see a new sidebar. This is how you can customize your desk. 

The Build button allows you to place items, while the Erase button will let you remove them. To remove an item, just hover your mouse over it. You’ll see it turn red, and when you click, it’ll disappear. 

Note: In order to delete the default desk and chair like this, your admin needs to enable Global Build Mode. Otherwise, you’ll only be able to erase objects that you yourself add to your desk. 

From here, you’re ready to start placing objects! You’ll find everything that’s available in the Object Picker. When you select an object, you can look for color variations in the upper right of the window, along with the option to rotate it. 

This is also where you can add object interactions, such as embedding a website URL, embedding an image, or adding a note to the object that can be viewed right in the Space. 

Why would you do that? Here are a few examples we’ve seen: 

  • Linking to a Goodreads profile from a book object
  • Linking to Spotify playlist or YouTube video from the gramophone
  • Leaving a note on the note object (either on your desk or a teammate’s) 
  • Embedding a family photo on the note object, like having a picture frame on your desk

Adding interactions to objects can help increase productivity or share more of your personality with your remote coworkers. 

Best practices for decorating your Gather desk

1. Start from the bottom-up, then back-to-front 

As you place objects, you’re essentially stacking the pixels on top of each other. So, think from the bottom-up, and back-to-front. Start with a rug, then place your desk and chair, and then any objects on top will be last. 

And if you want it to look like an object is in front of another, you’ll need to place the back object first. 

If you mis-place anything, just switch to Erase, remove the objects, and then go back into Build mode to replace them. It’s always easy to edit!

2. Consider an extra chair for people to sit with you. 

Many people like to add a couch near their desk, some cushions on the ground, or just an extra seat. Think of when you would “roll your chair” next to someone’s desk in the office. It’s a nice way to give people a virtual place to sit when they come by your desk!

3. Don’t touch other people’s desks, unless you’re decorating it for a celebration. 

Just like a real office, the same rules apply in terms of not touching other people’s stuff. The exception is if you’re decorating for something special (a work anniversary or a birthday), or leaving a nice note on someone’s desk. 

Inspiration for your desk in Gather

Keep it simple or make it chaotic. The choice is yours! 

The plant-lover

Can’t keep a succulent alive in real life? No problem – none of your remote coworkers ever have to know! Your Gather desk can be overflowing with plant-life, no watering required. 

The reader

Show off your love of books with a stack right on your desk! You can add a link to your Goodreads account so everyone knows what you’re currently reading, or leave a note with a current book review to get people talking. 

A full library

If a stack of books isn’t enough for your reading fandom, turn your desk area into your very own little library. 

Fun fact: The lit fireplace will play a fire-crackling noise, so you can feel like you’re actually sitting by a fire. Just make sure the other members of your desk pod don’t mind this ambient background noise! 

The gamer

Make your RGB office dreams come true with neon lights, a multi-screen desktop setup, and a “comfortable” gaming chair. You could even embed a link to your Twitch stream or Discord channel if you want people to join your game after work. 

Pride

Celebrate your pride year-round with a collection of colorful, inclusive desk objects. If you toggle the “colors” in the object details, you’ll see variations such as transgender, nonbinary, and genderfluid designs. 

The minimalist

Keep it simple! Minimalism applies to your Gather desk also, where you can keep it limited to a couple essentials: Chair, laptop, small plants. 

Color-coordinated

Is the color blue part of your personal brand? Go all-in on the color coordination to make your Gather desk match your perfect aesthetic. 

Messy

Be honest: Some of you reading this have real desks that look closer to this! While it’s easier to keep your Gather desk tidy, you might also choose to lean into the chaos and let your coworkers know that you’re a bit of a mess right now. 

Pumpkin patch

If you’re like me and you wish it was fall all year round, you might choose to build your very own pumpkin patch to work at. Complete with black cats, a digital pumpkin spice latte, and extra hay bale seating for coworkers.

Winter wonderland

Keep it cool! Celebrate your love of winter with snowy decorations. You could even embed a  Spotify Holiday Playlist to really get in the wintery spirit. 

Country pride

Cheer for your nation’s sporting events or remind your global coworkers where in the world you’re located. Search for Flag in the object Picker and browse the “colors” to see different country flags. 

Duck pond

While you can’t feed the fish or ducks, you can sit by a relaxing pond while you get your work done. This is a great way to add an extra chair, if you want to encourage coworking at your desk. 

Holiday spirit

From Christmas presents and Hanukkah dreidels to Easter eggs and Day of the Dead sugar skulls, there are a bunch of objects built into Gather to help you celebrate the holidays that are most important to you!

Can’t find what you need to celebrate? Consider uploading a custom object.  

Beach

Who needs a desk when you can work from your laptop on the beach? Create a relaxing desk environment complete with seashells and a coconut drink. 

In the woods

Prefer nature over office space? Create your own personal forest to work in! Just make sure any trees you place don’t cover too much of your coworkers’ desks. After all, they need a place to show off their own desk personality, too.

Show us your desk!

That concludes this virtual desk decorating guide. Now that you’ve seen some inspiration, we’d love to see what you come up with! 

Share a picture of your virtual desk and tag us on LinkedIn or Twitter. We’d love to share it with the rest of the Gather remote work community. 

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