If you are trying to create a fun and fostering environment in your office, the kind that will inspire your employees to creative brilliance, you have to think a little outside of the box.
Okay, maybe a lot outside the box.
Dreary Offices Stifle Creativity
A good leader needs to go out of their way to create bright, colorful offices for themselves and their employees. Do everything you can to avoid stuffy offices and dreary boardrooms in your workspace. If you’re not excited about working in that environment, then why should your employees be?
Nothing stifles creativity more than a drab, boring old-school office. Those cliché motivational posters on your wall are doing quite the opposite. More likely than not, those are only motivating your employees to rip them to pieces.
“Driving for success is much deeper and more individual than these “slogans for the masses”. Motivational phrases and beautiful photography does not get people closer to that goal. In fact, displaying these kinds of posters is really a mistake for the small business owners and can become a point of ridicule.” – Forbes
Dreary Doesn’t Attract Top Talent
You better have a crazy compensation package on your dreary, white table if you think you are going to attract any top talent to your little, beige office. These top talents read enough blogs and watch enough TV to know what kinds of environments the best, cutting edge, start-up companies are offering.
“Google is arguably the best company to work for in the world. Their offices are renowned for their funky design and cutting-edge amenities. The level of autonomy and focus on innovation is legendary. And, yes, their above-average compensation and stock options don’t hurt their chances of finding top-tier talent either.” – Cameron Herold
Think about ReThink
ReThink is one of the top advertising agencies in North America. To keep their place at the top, stakeholders have gone a little crazy when it comes to their office space, to say the least. Unless using a ping-pong table for a boardroom table or installing artificial turf for carpeting sounds normal to you?
ReThink is using a brilliant strategy. They’ve created a physical embodiment of a corporate culture that insists on doing things differently.
It’s also quite brilliant because it didn’t cost them thousands as you’d expect. You don’t need fireman’s poles or foosball tables to compete with these people, either. Bright paint, funky furniture, and an open concept can go a long way in establishing a unique working environment.
Name Your Office
One of the easiest ways to show how quirky you are is to let go of tired naming conventions for your offices and boardrooms. Some offices have named their meeting rooms after planets, the farthest and smallest aptly being named Pluto (not officially a planet, but you get the idea).
Have your employees brainstorm ideas for names or make it a contest to see who can come up with the best options. Who doesn’t like a fun, little contest?
“Of course, an office is more than simply the place where people work. It is now seen as a visible manifestation of a company’s brand and culture, and in being so says something significant about the employees there.” – Annual Leave
Socialization, Food, and Naps!
Some people balk at the idea of making your offices and workspace more fun and easier to socialize in, but leaders that know its benefits are huge proponents of it. One of the easiest and most authentic ways to build a world-class culture is to bring in a barbeque and use it often. The break from the grind is welcome, the conversation flows naturally, and who doesn’t love a free lunch?
It’s also a great idea to stock your lunchroom with fresh fruit and healthy snacks, as well as build “nap rooms” into your offices if you can. If you expect your employees to work long hours to help you build your business, then you have to provide amenities that make it easier and healthier.
You aren’t an old-school company, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need an old-school office.
Do you do anything interesting with your workspace? Let us know in the comments below!
If you have questions or would like more information, I’d be happy to help. Please send an email, and my team will get in touch with you!
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been edited for accuracy and comprehensiveness.