Trends have indicated that offices are moving away from grayscale, bland, boring office workplaces, and hedging towards vibrant, expressive and contemporary designs that evoke a sense of playfulness, forward-thinking and high performance in their employees.
Many businesses are encouraging charismatic design and zany features as part of their model of motivation. But, whilst it is important to have your workplace look exciting and innovative, it is also important to get the right balance between work and play, so you can create a space that is both happy and productive. Read on to explore how to make your office space look fun yet professional for the most productive workplace possible.
1. Create an inspiring break area
Casual spaces that employees can retreat to a few times a day to escape arduous work tasks will be greatly appreciated by the whole office. If your current staffroom is lacking in colour and warmth, change that up by including unique furniture, interesting lighting and home comforts like cushions. Also, get creative and add shelving to display photos and plants, this way, staff can comfortably enjoy the space around them and recognise the social benefits of having this space.
Make sure the colour scheme and decor of the break area is slightly different to the main office so that there is a clear contrast between the two spaces and the purpose behind each. This will ensure people can return to the main office space ready to work.
2. Use natural materials
Natural tones and materials, such as wood will have a huge effect on the attitude and mental health of employees. They are also extremely stylish and add an earthy charm to the office space.
Natural tones to consider are wood, stone and bamboo. The great thing these all have in common is they’re very minimalist in their design, which is ideal for any workplace as it strikes the perfect balance between fun and professionalism. A wooden shelf, a stone tray for paperwork, or a bamboo book stand will make your office trendy, fun, whilst maintaining a clean and formal aesthetic.
3. Good music
Surrounding yourself with music can be much more fun than sitting alone with earbuds in. While we all enjoy that alone time listening to guilty pleasures, adding a radio or bluetooth speaker will allow everyone a chance to share their favourite playlist with the whole office. Of course make sure everyone is up for this, and if they are, notice how office morale will sky rocket, as well as boost everyone's mood. Just be sure to keep the volume to a professional level and ensure that the songs are to everyone's taste, as there is also nothing quite like a whole office humming along to favourite songs to make the work day fly by.
4. Add personal items
If your office allows it, then encourage personal items to be brought in by staff so they can decorate their personal areas in a way that makes them relaxed and also comfortable. This can include pictures of pets and family members, as well as pictures of favourite art or quotes, just ensure any pictures are in keeping with company guidelines. Other ideas include your favourite mug, stationary, or small ornaments that remind you of good memories. After all, most people spend at least 8 hours of their day in the office, so displaying personal effects will make the office feel less corporate and ensure people enjoy the time they spend at work. It is also a great opportunity to get people talking to each other and learn more about your colleagues and create friendships.
5. Clean and functional
While it’s lovely having your personal items scattered around you, be sure to maintain a clean and functional workspace so you can always get on with the task at hand. Keep your desk and floor space clear of clutter, and store files, paperwork and books into their own designated areas. If your workstation is clear, your mind will be too. Having areas that things belong to will also make completing jobs much easier as you know where everything will be.
6. Bring the outdoors in
Plants are no doubt a must-have in any office. Not only do they make for a nice green corner to rest your eyes on, but they improve air quality, ease anxiety and take your indoor office into the outside.
Taking the time to celebrate nature in your workplace will add nothing but advantages to your work day. Scandinavians have stressed the importance of natural light and plants in any room, as it encourages a happy atmosphere and also adds a modern and contemporary look to any office. So add some Scandinavian chic to your office with your favourite plants and flowers for an easy way to make your space personal and fun. Also, have a look at how you can embrace hygge into your office for more Scandinavian inspired designs to add to your workplace.
7. Accent wall
Walls don’t have to be stark white and bare anymore. If your office allows it, get creative and utilise one of the walls around you to help increase productivity and keep creative sparks alight. If you look at your walls as an opportunity to inspire your colleagues, you’ll be impressed by what you can achieve. Also, by keeping the design restricted to one wall will prevent the office looking unprofessional and distracting.
For example, inspirational art and quotes will make nice pick-me-ups when you’re feeling the midweek blues. Refrain from painting on the walls directly and use frames and posters to add your pops of colour. This will ensure your space still looks professional, and will mean you can adapt and change your space whenever needed.
Colours such as orange, yellow, green are ideal. Orange is said to inspire creativity and enthusiasm, whereas yellow is said to inspire imagination, and inspiration. Green is also a great choice as it mimics the outdoors and nature which is great for mental health.
8. Office dog
The benefits of having a workplace that allows pets are tenfold. If your office allows pets, then organise with your colleagues when each of you can bring your dog in. Assuming that the dog is well behaved, they will add warmth and fun to your office space, and it has been proven that the presence of a dog can reduce stress as well as improve office morale.
9. Stock up on healthy snacks
Fast food and sugary drinks are a quick way to boost energy and are always in easy access with shops around the office selling them in abundance. However, make room for healthy snacks in the office so whenever hunger strikes during work hours, there is a healthy alternative that won’t leave you feeling sluggish and full of sugary regret.
A fruit bowl is a must, and will inject a bit of colour to the office space too. If fruit isn’t for everyone, then a basket filled with snacks like sugar-free bars, raisin boxes, and berry or nut mixes will ensure there's something to everyone's taste, and give a good boost of energy to employees as well as keeping health a priority.
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