Before becoming a freelancer, I often had fun at the office. For our team, it was not about having cool stuff like ping pong tables, quirky architectural features, or a bright color scheme. The office was actually a formal corporate environment with clusters of workstations with a monochromatic gray color scheme. However, it boasted an atrium that flooded the entire building with sunlight and with its openness, you could hear laughter from time to time.

More than anything else, it was fun because I was surrounded by peers with the same mindset and passion about design, and who also participated in the occasional doughnut day and happy hour. From eating out for lunch to after work drinks, it was nice to see everyone having fun outside the office as well.

That's what I think of when I think of having fun at work. And since an office is a host to work activities which consumes most of our day, 5 days a week. Why not make it more fun?

You can create a fun office without slides or a basket ball court in your office.  Here are a few ways to bring fun into your office with a few tweaks in your furniture and materials.

1. Keep me out of the landfill:

We have been exposed to and reared towards caring for the environment. Try sourcing finish and construction materials that have been salvaged or reclaimed. Take the opportunity to be creative, original and do good by keep them out of the landfill.

2. Shake it like Buoy!

Movable and adjustable furniture allows you to customize your space and make it your own. Keeping in mind that daily activities change throughout the day and projects come and go, your space and furniture should accommodate those changes. This extends beyond furniture arrangements: it should also aide in creating transitions between different seats and table heights to support  different postures throughout the day.

3. Take the outdoors indoors:

Take cue from Mother Nature and bring the outdoors in.  Picnic tables in the break room area are great, as is turnstone's Campfire Big Lamp which takes its inspiration from outdoor umbrellas at the park.

4. Create your own office culture:

Incorporate a cool feature in the office like standing desks, graffiti art as a focal point, or a themed space that only YOU would have. Let's say a kitchen with communal table to host breakfasts on Fridays instead of a break room with small tables. Finding something unique or creating something original can give you a sense of ownership and shows the innovative side of your team. This is also a great way to foster the kind of office culture that makes your team glad to be on board.

5. Color:

It has been used to represent a mood, represent your company logo or simply to inspire. It is a powerful and inexpensive tool to update your office and make it more vibrant. Tests a few samples of paint and leave it for a day or two. It may be hard to get a unanimous vote, but at least you should get a good response and know the direction you should be taking.

6. Games, games and more games

Encourage play before you start a project or brainstorming activity. I may not be the first one to use the ping pong table or bean bags as a means to collaborate, I do see the use of it in the office. These are tools to encourage play in the office, which encourage us to let our guards down and foster good working relationships among each other. For what? Well, it encourages us to be more comfortable in our working environment and boost our confidence to share our ideas. Playing games does not require office titles, you just need 2 or more open minded people who are willing to have fun.

How do you bring fun into your office?

{photo: Klout}

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