Having fun at work—is it frivolous or essential? A waste of time or something that carries meaning? Ask different people, and you’ll get different answers. That’s partly because of personality differences, but it’s also because of differences in how companies approach the idea of fun.
Some workplaces treat fun as something that’s imposed periodically from the outside, rather than something that’s part of the fabric, part of the culture. It can feel like an afterthought. Rather than enhancing a team’s work, it can be an annoyance.
But when positivity, flexibility and fun are part of a company’s DNA, when fun is a valued part of the organizational landscape, great things can happen.
Fun that’s integral to the culture is freeing, motivating, even inspiring. It’s engaging. And according to Steelcase global research, workers who are highly engaged are those who have more control over their experiences at work. They’re free to have fun when they want, allowed to choose how and where to work. They’re encouraged to move from space to space, knowing that movement not only stimulates the mind but also fosters conversations and social connections. You could even argue that workers who have fun are better workers.
Workplace design plays an important role in baking fun into an organization’s culture. Organizations built around trust, collaboration and innovation need workspaces that communicate positivity and possibility in everything from the design of indoor and outdoor workspaces to the use of light and color to the choice of furniture.
Consider these examples of how furniture can introduce a sense of playfulness or an element of surprise:
Just add paddles. The Potrero415 Table Tennis Edition, pictured above, takes our versatile A-frame Potrero415 base and tops it with a beautiful hardwood table tennis top. Project table, conference table, breaktime table—this seriously playful surface does it all, and it’s available now as a standard special.
Ready to roll. The Season Mini bench from the Viccarbe Imports Collection, pictured above, is available to order with concealed casters, making it a fun, active seating option for lounge-based meetings or impromptu conversations.
On your feet. Sometimes the dimensions of an object can take us by surprise and inspire us to work in new ways. That’s the case with the long and lean Potrero415 Light, pictured above, a standing-height member of the Potrero415 Table collection slated to hit the market this fall. It’s perfect for a coffee break or a stopover between meetings.
Fun, freedom, possibility—they all go together in the modern workplace that wants to strengthen what its workers can create together.
“The idea,” said John Hamilton, our global design director, “is to provide a plurality of settings that give employees the choice over where, how, and with whom they want to work at any given time, based on what they’re trying to accomplish.”
For more ideas on planning spaces for fun, positivity and engagement, view our Inspiration Gallery.
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