Modern-day offices are quickly moving away from rigid, gray cubicles and bland settings. Contemporary workplace trends that deliver a sense of playful openness are being heralded by high-performing, forward-thinking companies like Google and Apple.
Now, it’s your turn.
In this article, we’ll discuss ways you can make your office space look fun without sacrificing the professionalism your business needs to convey to employees, customers, and clients.
First, let’s take a look at the value of fun in the workplace.
Why create a fun office space?
How do your employees feel when they step foot into your business’s office? How do partners feel? What about clients?
Do they feel a wave of dread, a flicker of outdated stuffiness, or a total lack of inspiration? Maybe even some office anxiety? Or, do they feel comfortable, at ease, and ready to work?
Hopefully, the latter.
Having playful elements in your workplace environment deliver a whole host of game-changing benefits, including the following:
- A boost in employee productivity and engagement
- Nurturing employee well-being
- Assists with long-term staff retention – remember, satisfied employees stay onboard
- Helps employees feel more comfortable and ‘at home,’ which can encourage open communication and more effective collaboration
- Inspires creative thinking
- Reduces employees' stress levels
So, how can you achieve a fun environment at work?
Interior design can be tricky, especially when attempting to strike a balance between fun and mature.
6 tips for adding a sense of playfulness to your office space
1. Encourage your team to add personal items to their workspaces
A workspace that is devoid of personality can come across as stark and, quite frankly, boring. For employees, this can reduce their willingness to open up at work and to get to know their colleagues. Visiting clients are also affected – they don’t have the opportunity to put faces to names and to connect with your organization on a personal level.
Overcome this by encouraging your team to add personal items to their workspaces. This might be family photos, childhood mementos, or indoor plants.
Even something as simple as asking your employees to bring in their own coffee mugs can help develop a more casual, comfortable atmosphere.
2. Be clever with color
Color can truly transform a drab, stock-standard office into a playful yet professional haven. So, don’t be afraid to incorporate color into your office design, whether you use a bold feature wall or more subtle décor accents.
And if you’re not sure what color to go with, use your brand colors as a guide.
A word of warning before you paint every surface in sight: don’t overdo it. To avoid going over the top, keep your larger walls and furniture neutral.
Office features with clean, sleek designs provide the perfect backdrop for more eye-catching pieces – that’s one reason why our office booths are so versatile.
3. Create a relaxed break area
Does your team have somewhere to chill out during downtime? It’s time to revamp your staff room or break area. Here are a couple of fun ideas to get you thinking:
- Offer a variety of seating options, including chairs, tables and sofas. That way, staff can eat their lunch comfortably or chat with their workplace friends.
- Add a couple of fun activities like card games or books. Who knows – you could start an office-wide Uno competition.
- Keep the area separate yet open. There’s no denying the popularity of open-plan offices. But, it’s crucial to differentiate various zones. Position sofas strategically, create a wall of indoor plants, or paint the break area a different color than the rest of the office.
- Stock up on break area essentials. Invest in a coffee machine, kettle, and fridge. Give your team what they need to kick back and relax.
- Provide the benefits of modular offices - the perfect size for 1-6 team members, these products block out excess noise, allow natural light in and recycle clean air every 2 minutes.
Remember, it’s your staff that will be using this space. Ask them what they want. What furniture, activities, and kitchen appliances do they need to unwind on their lunch break?
4. Celebrate nature
Nothing brings an outdated office into modernity quite like the humble indoor plant. Indoor plants add a splash of color, offer a visually meditative experience and improve the air quality.
Beyond plants, you can celebrate nature in your workplace by incorporating natural materials and natural light where possible. Light-toned woods are on-trend – they are versatile and add a touch of Scandinavian chic to any space.
What’s more, natural light is easy on the eyes, a feature that shouldn’t be overlooked in a time when we spend the majority of our waking lives looking at a screen.
Here at Zenbooth, we’ve utilized natural textures and light in our designs. Our private work booths and meeting areas are crafted from a sleek, modern material and finished with a full skylight ceiling.
5. Utilize wall space
Blank walls are a missed opportunity. Make the most of your office’s wall space by adding contemporary art or inspirational quotes. Or, install a few modern shelving units and display your indoor plant collection.
Again, ask your employees to assist. Your workplace is a hotbed of creativity – use it! Just don’t overdo it. Pick one or two feature wall pieces to highlight by giving them plenty of room to breathe.
6. Stock up a bookshelf
If your employees have a 15-minute break, encourage them to put down their smartphones and pick up a book.
How? By stocking up a bookshelf with classic novels, educational books, and even large art books. Your team can then escape to the quiet privacy of an office phone booth and read for a couple of minutes before returning to work refreshed, relaxed, and inspired.
Striking a balance between fun and professionalism
You’ve giving your employees a vibrant, contemporary space to work in equipped with all the fun essentials – a place to hang out, things to read, games to play, quiet spaces to escape to, and much more.
Now, it’s time to strike a balance, to create a workplace culture that’s also professional. Remember, there is work to be done!
Here are a few places to start.
Create clear distinctions between break and work areas
Having fun should be a part of every workers’ day, but not at the expense of productivity. To overcome the risk of a no-work-all-play office, create clear distinctions between break and work spaces.
Zone areas using color, furniture style, or low-profile physical barriers.
Don’t let go of your dress code
Yes, corporate suit-and-tie dress codes may be outdated, especially in non-traditional workplaces. But they shouldn’t be shoved to the wayside altogether.
Make sure your employees are aware of your office’s clothing requirements (which should, of course, meet workplace health and safety guidelines).
Set short- and long-term measurable goals
Setting both short- and long-term goals that are easily measurable can do a world of good for your office’s productivity. You can even incorporate your goal setting into your décor – hang a whiteboard specifically for tracking progress.
Reward your team
When your team outperforms, lands a significant deal, secures a big client, or achieves another growth objective, reward them. Put on a lunch or organize an office-wide board game competition.
Give your team somewhere quiet for meetings and phone calls
Fun can be noisy – there’s no doubt about it. Your team needs somewhere quiet and private to conduct meetings or phone calls. An office booth is a fantastic solution.
Your employees can step away from the hustle-bustle of the main workspace – that way, they can fulfill their professional responsibilities without distraction. It’s a win-win.
A must-have for fun and professional workspaces
Creating a vibrant office full of personality and inspiration is one thing. Ensuring your staff members still have the peace and quiet they need to conduct business to the best of their ability is another.
If you are looking to create a workspace that’s both fun and professional, an office booth is a must-have. A booth provides a private workspace that's ideal for conducting performance reviews, hosting conference calls, or even taking a much-needed 10-minute break without obstructing your clean, open, contemporary office design.
We’d be more than happy to help you create the fun yet professional office your employees need to thrive.