The office: as much as you may hate to admit it, it’s basically your second home. But it probably looks pretty ugly – er, different compared to your actual home. At your house, you have a well-curated furniture collection, unique art and framed photos, even some fun accent pieces to personalize your space. But at work? Chances are, your company’s best office decor ideas involve an “employee of the month” photo wall and the few pictures of your family you crowd onto your desk.
A positive office environment is important: you don’t need to be an architect to know that a gray cubicle will make people much less happy than an open window and greenery. Unfortunately, not every office is a sunshine-filled room with bright colors and endless space. But with a few office decor ideas, even a small, gray space can become a positive environment thriving with creativity. Here are some office decorating ideas to get you started:
Sunshine is the Best Office Decor Idea
It’s tempting to put your bullpen office in the middle of your floor and leave executive offices on the outside, but if you get a choice, avoid this at all costs. People need sunshine to be healthy and happy, so depriving them of it while giving it to executives (who spend the least amount of time in their offices) does not send a positive message to your employees. Opt to use the outer perimeter areas around the office as smaller, team-based bullpen areas fueled by sunlight, and use the center of the floor (the areas with the least light) for the conference rooms. It will be even better when you realize you no longer need to block all the light in the conference rooms to see your powerpoint projection.
But if you’re already moved into an office space, there may not be much you can do rearrange. Instead, try to lighten up the space by adding some happy lamps and plenty of quality lighting to your office area to keep your employees feeling bright even when they can’t see the sun.
Bring Your Office Decor Ideas to Life with Plants
Pardon our pun, but plants really bring life to your workspace. While it takes some work to keep them going, a healthy indoor plant will not only brighten up your office and give some life to it, but they’ll also remind you to keep your employees’ workspaces close to the light. Neither your team members or your plants will thrive without it. Use a guide to indoor plants like this one to find plants that don’t require lots of work, but do provide lots of greenery.
One simple option: air plants. These mess-free plants don’t require soil (no potting time for you!), but can be easily hung from cool wall fixtures like these. Decorate a boring space with spots of air plants to add some natural beauty to a desolate room.
Take Conference Rooms to Another Level by Giving Them a Theme
Image Source: My Star Job
There’s no joy in entering conference room B and finding yet another identical room with dated decor, unoriginal art, and the same furniture as every other conference room – but that’s so easy to change. Really, the easiest office decor idea is to change up your conference rooms by giving them a theme. Here are a few ideas:
- Themed around different markets: if your company is in multiple places – say, London, NYC, San Francisco, and Beijing – take your office decor ideas for the room from these places. Hang photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, leave a big apple-shaped pillow on the couch, or opt for an accent wall featuring an iconic skyline. Instead of “I’ll meet you in room 3,” you’ll be making joke accents while saying, “Meet you in London!” in no time.
- Themes based on your products: if you’re a software company, you likely have a string of products that, in their early stages, were pivotal to the rise of your brand. Name a conference room after each one to remind the team of why you’re here. For example, at Apple, you might find the iMac room, the iPod room, and the iPad room. Take office decor ideas from the product itself: hang and frame the product blueprints, PR coverage, and photos of the first editions.
- Theme the rooms around your name: at Dolly, each conference room is named for a famous Dolly: Dolly Parton, Salvador Dali, Dolly the Sheep, even the Dolly Llama (we took some liberty with the spelling). The decor is based around each of these: Salvador has copies of Dali’s art, album covers and fan photos of Dolly Parton line the Parton room’s walls, and the Time Magazine cover of a certain cloned sheep hangs in Dolly the Sheep’s room. Doing this not only provides some great jokes, it also makes sure our company is top-of-mind for employees.
Make the Mission Visible
Why are you doing what you’re doing? Folks from the HR department and executive team can rattle off your mission ike it’s their own name, but the rest of the company may not know the company mission by heart. And you do want them to know the mission – it’s what’s going to keep them inspired, every day, even when things get tough. Keep your mission visible with it painted or framed in prominent workspaces, or opt to use it as a label on company letterhead or stickers.
When It Comes to Ideations, Draw From Your Brand
What colors should you choose to decorate your office with? What about textures, concepts, statement pieces? Call up your brand team to answer these questions, because when it comes to office decor ideas, your space should match your brand.
Think of your office as the physical embodiment of your company. If your company positions itself as a proud new innovator, the office should look that way. If your brand’s primary color is teal, paint an accent wall in your exact shade. If you have brand words your marketing team uses, have them painted or hang them around the office. You want your team to feel like they’re working here, not a generic office building.
Give Your Employees Choice in Their Desk Gear
Nothing says “corporate drone” like every employee having the same desk chair, same set of sticky notes and pens, even the same paper organizer. In open offices without cubicle walls, the effect of everyone having the same is even more terrifying – without walls covered in family photos, it becomes nearly impossible to distinguish one desk, and one employee, from another.
Beat the office drone trope by giving your team some choice in what gear they want – and order new gear only when they ask for it. You won’t end up with ten unused, plain black file organizers, but you’ll find that people will ask for less, and choose more fun items that represent them. While it seems like a small change, a pop of a pink pen cup on someone’s desk and a cat-themed calendar on another really adds to a positive environment, and keeps your office from feeling too Orwellian.
Use Your Team’s Greatest Moments as Decor
Image Source: Wikimedia
Dedicate some wallspace to your team’s proudest accomplishments. Put together a “wall of fame” with big moments in the company’s history: a photo from the day the company was founded, the first major article you were mentioned in, any awards you’ve won, etc. And don’t just make it about the company. If any of your employees have been featured publicly for their work at the company, frame that, too. It will show your team that you not only care about the work they do as a group, but about their individual accomplishments, too.
Use Furniture to Designate Creative Spaces
If your office is an open space filled with desks, guess what your employees will think? That you just want them to work. Designating non-desk spaces with coffee tables, couches, and armchairs facilitates creativity and team-oriented thinking – not to mention, encourages your team to get to know each other in a more relaxed setting than board rooms. Add some rugs to section off the space and throw in a few cute, creative pieces of art to inspire your team to use the space.
One mistake to avoid? Don’t ask your employees to be movers, too. Get your new furniture delivered and put in place for you using Dolly. Our Helpers are masters of the small business move and can bring your new furniture pieces back to the office in a jiffy. Plus, no delivery windows, so you won’t need to cancel a day’s worth of meetings to meet your delivery crew.
Make the Decor Interactive
An icebreaker isn’t appealing to the shy types, so how do you get to know your more introverted colleagues? Ask them to interact using your office decor. At Dolly, we’ve dedicated a kitchen wall to asking a random question every week. They make great lunchtime conversation-starters, plus it adds to the workspace-like air to the room. Another popular options is leaving word magnets on the company fridge and waiting for employees to craft some prose. You might even find the results Instagram-worthy.
Let Your Office Style Reflect Your Dream Culture
Take a moment to dream that you have all the money and time in the world to dedicate towards your company culture. What does it look like? Is your dream company culture interactive and creative? Or does it involve a crew of standalone workers giving their all towards a common goal?
Whatever your dream culture looks like, your workspace should reflect it. Office decor ideas should bubble up from company culture ideas. Companies with creative goals should provide plenty of creative spaces, more abstract furnishings, and spaces that are meant to be multipurpose. For the more business-minded, keep the decor professional and create more designated spaces: conference rooms should differ from individual workspaces, art should be minimalist (but not tasteless!), and casual spaces should be kept to a minimum.
For fun creatives and serious business offices alike, office decor doesn’t have to be boring. Rearrange and play with new furniture until you find the perfect setup – and through all that, you can count on Dolly to help. We’ll bring you moving and furniture rearranging help that’s so cheap, it’ll even fit in the smallest company budget. Just count on Dolly to bring you truck and muscle, anytime you need.
Miranda is the Marketing Coordinator at Dolly. She’s moved nine times in the past six years, and while she’s grateful for the moving expertise, she’s hoping she doesn’t need to move a tenth time anytime soon.