6th Sep 2022

‘Fun’ Offices – Are They All They’re Cracked Up to Be?

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Some businesses jump headfirst into the deep end to attract talent by creating fun offices. But this doesn’t always mean slides, hammocks or ball pits.

Employers are realising more and more that drab offices, or even nicely decorated offices consisting of rows and rows of desks no longer inspire people to want to come to work, let alone work at their best.

Inspiring surroundings can have a direct effect on your employee’s creativity and productivity. And this fact is nothing new! In 2015, the University of Warwick did a study that found happier employees are more productive by an average of 12 percent.

One of the silver linings to come out of the pandemic is that employers are placing more value on their workplace environments, and employees are therefore enjoying the benefits.

Some businesses jump headfirst into the deep end in order to attract talent by creating a fun office. This doesn’t necessarily mean an office full of slides, hammocks or ball pits, although that might work for some!

This raises the vital question everyone is asking our design team; “what kind of office do our people need, and what will inspire back to work in our company offices?”.

How do you work out what people need?

It’ll mean something different for every workplace, but in our opinion, ensuring people have fun and enjoy coming to work is actually a positive biproduct of a workplace with a culture that supports everyone’s needs. It’s not all about what it looks like, it’s also about the feel of a workplace.

Fun can mean inspiring, colourful, collaborative or whatever you want it to mean. When your space caters to the needs of your people, the fun will follow!

It could mean using innovative technology, or sound design to help with better office acoustics. Colour can have a part to play, as well as different materials. You could jazz up the space with some furniture and elements such as planters and other references to nature. Outdoor space can have a big impact too.

So, how can you find the fun in your workplace?

  1. Consider everyone

An office needs to be multifunctional to provide for the different needs of your team. You should take a people-first approach, and be sure to consider the needs of a neurodiverse team to help empower creative minds.

Think of it more as creating a workplace community, rather than a fun space. For many people returning to the office post-pandemic, spaces that encourage collaboration and empower hybrid working are key to enticing them back in for good.

  1. Create more than ‘just an office’

Fun offices can create better morale, reduce employee churn (and therefore lower recruitment costs!) and potentially means happier clients and customers. However, there is more to an employee’s happiness than just their working environment. Factors such as pay, prospects and feeling respected have an impact too. But we can’t do that for you!

It’s your company culture that really matters. A great office space can facilitate a great employee experience. But if the foundation of your culture is all wrong, people may not be as happy or perform as well as they could do – even if they have the spaces and infrastructure to do so.

  1. Empower hybrid and/or flexible working

As an employer, you may be wondering how you can entice your team back into the office after working from home. A lot of people are still reluctant to return to the office full time, and that’s ok! Hybrid working is common now. But if you’re struggling to get people back at all, there are some things that can help to convince them to come in. Even if it’s just for a few days a week.

We know from experience that employees now want something that actually makes the commute worthwhile. They’re used to home comforts and a comfortable environment. People want more from their workplace, and this doesn’t mean buying ping pong tables or space-themed meeting pods to make it a fun office.

An enticing office for one employee might look totally different to another. So before making changes to your space based on what you think your people want, ask them. It also helps to spend a period of time monitoring how people are (or aren’t) using your current spaces and why. This will help you ensure you make impactful changes.

  1. Aim to inspire

Ultimately, fun offices can inspire and increase productivity. You don’t have to do a huge overhaul, there are small steps you can take to make the office more inviting for your team to start with.

Enjoying time with colleagues in a relaxed and fun environment encourages trust in one another. It helps you to be open, honest and communicate better. Having a place to relax over coffee or lunch can help. Consider providing somewhere for your people to unwind away from their desks in a comfortable casual environment. This can help your team form stronger bonds and ultimately produce better work together.

When a team member feels low or unhappy, their motivation drops. They may communicate less, withdraw, or be less productive. In this case, feeling comfortable in the office can have a positive impact.

Invest in your office environment, layout or function, and it could help your people feel better and achieve more.

Again, before making changes, ask people what inspires and motivates them. You might be surprised by what they come back with, and it means you can factor their feedback into any improvements you make to your space.

Create an inspiring office for your people

Your workspace should aim to inspire, boost creativity and productivity – we can help you with that! It’s not just about being a fun office. Every business has its own needs for its workplace and team. If you’re looking to create a space that your employees love to work in, talk to us.

Author:

Chloe Sproston

Creative and Commercial Director