With cloud technology and an abundance of wireless devices, it’s often easy for many employees to work remotely. But entrepreneurs and founders also know that collaboration is most productive during face-to-face interactions. These moments can spur positive relationships, boost engagement and increase productivity, creating a sense of creative community in the workplace. So how do you find that magical balance between mobile work options and creating an office where employees love to work?
The answer is simple: Foster a fun office culture.
Joe Fernandez, CEO of Klout, the social influence scoring site, explains their culture. “Everyone invites their friends to come and hang out here – if not as a second home, at least as your primary clubhouse.” Fernandez and his team know that great culture attracts great people, and making work fun is key to the company’s success. They use Steelcase furnishings to create collaborative office spaces in San Francisco.
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Need more fun in your office? If you’re looking to make going to work fun, here are some ideas to get you started:
Build the office culture
The best office cultures allow people to be themselves. Authenticity leads to solid relationships that naturally fuel collaboration and innovation — all elements that attract and retain top talent.
Of course, this won’t happen on its own. Be intentional about creating a fun office culture:
- create a place for gathering for foods and celebrations
- encourage your staff to personalize their workspaces with family photos and favorite mementos
- offer different types of workstations based on function and individual needs
- allow people to be themselves and provide spaces that set them up for success
It’s important that the products you choose for your space reinforce your desired culture. If you want socialization to happen naturally in the workplace, you need to create spaces that will allow it happen. It’s hard to make a connection and have fun when there isn’t a place to gather. Lounges with comfortable sofas, relaxed outdoor patios, and inviting cafés will all draw people in.
Also, look for products that reflect the fun spirit you want your office to have. Think modern styles, innovative designs, playful colors, and bold prints. Our Hosu convertible lounge seating, Emu Pattern outdoor seating, and Campfire Paper table are all easy to customize with different options for colors and finishes.
Looking to add movement to your day? Buoy’s curved base, rocking motion and height adjustability engage your core and promote good posture.
Plan fun activities
As you build an open, accepting culture, leverage the relationships your employees are building among themselves. While fun will happen organically, you can take steps to encourage it:
- volunteer together for a local charity
- host a design day to create artwork for your space
- plan potlucks or celebration lunches
- schedule Happy Hours after work
Get employees moving
Regular movement is good for both the mind and body, and getting up throughout the day encourages people to interact more. We know that movement has physical and psychological benefits because our bodies weren’t designed to sit in a 90-degree posture all day. Effective workplaces have a mix of spaces and postures, and may even offer treadmill desks like Steelcase’s Walkstation.
Multipurpose, flexible furniture like Buoy and Shortcut bring color and mobility to the office. Buoy’s curved base lets users swivel, turn and tile, engaging the core and putting leg muscles to work. And weighing less than 20 pounds, Buoy travels with you. Looking for a longer sit? Shortcut’s multi-purpose, lightweight design makes it easy to move and reconfigure a space based on the task at hand.
Color is a key consideration when designing your office space. Color can inspire your employees, set the mood for your workplace and connect your physical space to your brand.
- try painting an accent wall; involve your team on a color that represents your brand and collective personality
- chalkboard paint engages workers and offers a space to leave messages
- infuse a residential vibe with rugs, pillows and artwork
- use vinyl wall applications to display logos, motivational quotes or whimsical wayfinding
- add a photo wall and invite your team to bring in pictures; rotate the theme often for new images and new reasons to interact with the wall
Nothing says fun in an office more than games. Games promote refreshment and build camaraderie. Here are a few things you can try:
- schedule lunchtime trivia
- use apps like Kahoot to build specialized quizzes
- bring in board games, cards and checkers
- add a ping pong table
- invite your team to after-work dodgeball or golf
Workers spend too much time at work to not want to be there. Entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs in large organizations know that creating a fun office and a great culture will help employees thrive.
The effort will be worth it.