Nothing stifles creativity more than a drab, boring, old-school office. Those clichéd “motivational” posters on your wall are doing quite the opposite. Most likely, they are only motivating your employees to smash them to pieces.
And you’d better have a crazy compensation package on your dreary table if you think you are going to attract any top talent to your sad little office. These guys read blogs and watch enough TV to know what kinds of environment cutting-edge startups are offering.
I have always gone out of my way to create bright, colorful workplaces and done everything I could to avoid stuffy offices and dreary boardrooms. I can’t get excited about working in this environment, so how can I expect my employees to?
ReThink is one of the top advertising agencies in North America. And to stay there, stakeholders have gone a little crazy. Unless using a ping-pong table for a boardroom table or installing artificial turf for carpeting sounds normal to you? It’s a brilliant strategy, a physical embodiment of a corporate culture that insists on doing things differently.
It’s also brilliant because it didn’t cost them thousands. You don’t need fireman’s poles or foosball tables to compete with these guys, either. Bright paint, funky furniture and an open concept go a long way in establishing a unique working environment. Here are a few other "crazy" ideas to take your workplace from ho-hum to hey-ya!
Get better names. One of the easiest ways to show how quirky you are is to let go of tired naming conventions for your boardrooms. One office I worked in named meeting rooms after the planets, with the furthest aptly named Pluto (it’s still a planet if you ask me). We all laughed pretty hard when the receptionist would say that the “CEO was still in Uranus. Please wait for him in the lobby.” Have your employees brainstorm ideas or make it a contest to see who can come up with the best options.
Add some sizzle. One of the easiest and most authentic ways to build a world-class culture is to bring in a barbecue grill and use it often. The break from the grind is welcome, the conversation flows naturally, and hey, who doesn’t love a free lunch?
Make with the granola. Stock your lunchroom with fresh fruit and healthy snacks, such as popcorn, trail mix and so on.
Give room to snooze. Designate a lounge or conference room as a “nap room.” If you expect your employees to work long hours to help you build your business, you have to provide amenities that make it easier and healthier; that includes allowing a mid-day rest for an afternoon productivity boost.
You aren’t an old school company, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking you need an old-school office.
What innovative additions have you brought into your workplace?