5 Ways to Infuse Your Office Design with Fun

Ah, another afternoon at the office. Is it time for a quick game of ping pong? How about a cappuccino from the professional-grade espresso machine? Feel like plopping down in a bright red beanbag to write that proposal?

Without question, the hi-tech industry has influenced the overall casualization of the modern office. That influence can be seen in how people today expect—or are at least hoping for—a certain degree of fun and excitement in their office space. Of course, what’s fun and exciting are relative to who you are, what you do, and how you want to be perceived—oh, and how much you want to spend.

Here’s the thing to remember: If you or your staff think your office design could use a jolt of joy, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to immediately start making drastic changes. You can ease into the process with smart, relatively simple interior design choices. Here are five helpful factors to consider as you do that.

1. Heed the lesson of the cubicle

Ever notice how people seem to instinctively decorate their office cubicles, not only with family photos but also fun, quirky pictures, memorabilia, and souvenirs? Items like these help convey identity. Maybe they come with funny stories or serve as reminders of cherished memories. So what’s your company’s equivalent? What could you bring to your lobby, breakroom, conference room, hallways, and even restrooms that expresses in a fun or whimsical way who you are as a company?

2. Tasteful artwork—with a twist

Paintings, statues, sculptures—these of course can be an integral part of your overall office aesthetic. But to add fun to your office space, you want artwork that has the element of surprise or in some way generates visual interest. For example, use bright, intriguingly patterned paintings to line the hallway walls, put a bold wall mural in that oh-so-serious conference room, or place an unexpectedly playful statue in the lobby.

3. Color your office world

If you’re trying to add fun to a space, your paint color may be the easiest way to remedy a dull and drab room. And the great thing is that color choices abound. Using color wisely is really the key to harnessing its power. Choices should depend on how the room is used, the kind of physical space it occupies, and the atmosphere you’re trying to create.

4. Special nooks of comfort

Give employees a chance to get away without leaving the building. You can do this by creating cozy spots to sit and review that report, talk through a project challenge, or draft that executive summary. Use furniture that puts an emphasis on comfort but also has an element of fun to it—like brightly colored lounge chairs, comfortable love seats or rocking chairs, and, yes, maybe even a beanbag or two.

5. Consult an expert to find your sweet spot

Whatever your line of business, the design of your office space sends a message about who you are. So what’s your message? As you explore this question, you want to find your sweet spot along the casual-professional continuum.

Options for infusing your workplace with fun and excitement run from the stylishly understated to the outlandishly overt. If you really want to get serious about making your office more fun and enjoyable, a good interior design firm can help. Once they understand more about you, they can introduce you to ideas that stay true to who you are, keep the design functional, and yet also let your company’s playful side show—as little or as much as you want.