Recently, as I walked around the fourth-floor office where I work, I noticed a co-worker carefully pinning red and pink cardboard hearts to the outside walls of her cubicle a few minutes before starting time. Another lady I work with regularly brings in an inflated helium balloon coordinated with the seasons and holidays. And our Human Resources Director almost always has a bouquet of fresh flowers or a live flowering plant on her desk – a gift from her husband to brighten up the office.

Cardboard hearts, helium balloons, and fresh flowers have nothing to do with our work, though. We work at a medical billing company, not a florist’s shop. So why do my colleagues spend their own time and money to spruce up the office? To put it simply, they want to work in a beautiful place.

I think it’s safe to say that most of us want that: a workplace filled with beautiful things. But what good are cardboard hearts on cubicle walls if the 8-10 hours we spend working each day leave us feeling uninspired, unconnected, and unappreciated? In other words, creating beauty at works starts by valuing people, by investing in relationships, and by feeling like your life is valued above your work.