6 ways to make the office walls work for you. Yes - the walls :)
Updated: Jun 27, 2019
With an increased number of virtual teams and remote jobs, offices nowadays are much different from what they used to be.
An office is not just a place anymore, but rather a space for creative exchange and mutual inspiration. It is where we come together to share a smile and enjoy a collaborative living. The environment should predisposition us to communicate, work and dream more. One should prefer to sit in the pleasant ambient of the office than go elsewhere and that is realistic believe me.
Cubicles and boring white-walled rooms give way to more flexible and open co-working spaces. Using infographics as office murals is a new hype (we at InfoGraffiti have been getting a hefty number of requests for these recently!) and there is a good reason why. More than one actually:
Visualizing key company information such as history, structure and mission would demonstrate to both employees and customers what your hustle is all about and fuel trust in the brand. Those core values you keep talking about - they don't have to be vague and abstract. Give them flesh, bone and image and make them live with you.
Hint 1: Don’t get stuck with “mission and vision”. Even if you must include them for some company reason – be playful, be human, be witty about them. Don’t take yourself too seriously. That is propaganda and it repulses people, especially younger generations.
Creating a wall infographic that showcases key features of the company product / service can motivate and inspire current and future employees. Staff morale can also be boosted by displaying key achievements and goals.
Hint 2: Think of how your product is making the world a better place. Dig out interesting facts about it – e.g. for Heineken “Do you know that our beer is not sold only in Sahara and in Antarctica?” Link the facts with funny illustrations and ignite the spark of pride in your team.
Featuring success moments is old but gold. At the end of the day life is about moments to remember, isn't it? And the more you have them, the better the reason to display them properly.
Hint 3: The hall of fame is a great way to build a company culture through memory and recognition. Make it splendid, make it glamorous, make it aspirational. In two words – make it selfie-worthy.
Want to engage employees in a conversation – the walls can even help with that. Asking questions, you as a team care about and letting them answer with colored stickers is one way. Leaving sweets in named boxes and asking them to take from the ones that match their opinion is another. See, I told you walls can make people communicate.
Hint 4: Come up with three to four questions that are important for your organization – for example: What do you want to change in the world and in what area would you like to contribute? – environment protection, poverty elimination, health education, arts & cultural dialogue popularization, diversity promotion. Print colorful stickers for each option and let your employees and / or partners and guests have their say. What a better way to choose your corporate social responsibility focus? Opening an important dialogue, you can achieve couple of positive outcomes for everyone.
Crafting area-specific images for dedicated activities - decorating the canteen with healthy nutrition facts, reminding your values and beliefs in meeting rooms, designating a space where employees can post their ideas, etc.
Hint 5: Think of an area that you want to liven-up. Collect curious information about its use (e.g. food - Chocolate was once used as currency.Coconut water can save your life and can be used as blood plasma.) Then print beautiful colorful stickers to illustrate each fact. This will fuel conversations, creativity, healthy snacking and smiles.
Infographic walls can even help you address difficult aspect of your internal communications. An American company with an office in Sofia, Bulgaria shared with us that the local team in Sofia did not quite understand its role in the bigger picture of the whole business. They were making financial analyses using very specific software and their point of view was sort of fragmented. Our task was to draw the bigger picture on a 14 meters long wall in the open space office. We illustrated each step of their business model, showed the place of the local office and most importantly – pointed why the company was trusted by its partners and clients and what impact did it make. The wall made the whole place shine and at the same time sorted and internal communications challenge.
Hint 6: Be honest about the things that are not communicated well enough internally. Think of a positive, more strategic way to approach them. Tell a story. Show that you care and illustrate it. This will help you with the current employees but also with future ones. A wall like this is great for partners and clients too so don’t be shy to show it properly or even to generate publicity out of it.
Be brave, be generous and larger than life – let me tell you a short story about a small software company that wanted to put avatars of its employees all over the office. To the concern what will happen when some of these employees leave and what should be done with their avatars – the CEO answered: “Didn’t all of them leave part of themselves here? Should we not remember everyone that contributed to this team? We shall only add new avatars and never remove any of the existing ones regardless of where they are in life now.”
Some of these ideas can easily be produced internally, others may require professional help. Whatever you decide to do, one thing is sure - your company office would feel much more welcoming and “funky” with a splash of colour and meaning. And if people are enjoying their surroundings, they are more likely to stick around and enjoy what they are doing.