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How To Use Graphic Design To Improve Office Culture

When it comes to improving office culture, we all know the big guns – a great meal plan, fun team outings, smart office décor, and cool perks. But what about the small, day-to-day ways to create a sense of belonging among your team?

Cue the graphic designers: those creative beings who are known for pointing out bad font usage, yelling at you for using a pixelated image, and being extremely particular about the type of pen they use. Their super power lies in the fact that they can create work of any scale that can delight, inform, motivate, inspire, and teach. From a tiny sticker to a huge poster, graphic design has the power to bring people together, foster a sense of belonging, and help boost office culture. Check out our favourite office design ‘perks’ your team will love:

Desktop Wallpaper

Desktop wallpaper

Those stunning MAC desktop backgrounds are hard to beat, but what about designing equally beautiful wallpapers using inspiring imagery that represents your brand’s core values? You can also incorporate your brand’s fonts by adding inspirational quotes, reminders to stretch, take breaks, or move toward your team’s (or company’s) next milestone. Keep your eyes on the prize, literally.

Office Signs

Desk sign

Branding plays a big role in a company’s culture, so why not apply it to signs around the office and bring a sense of humour to everyday situations? Some people need to really focus when they are working, particularly in modern, open-concept offices. Designing a fun desk sign your coworkers can put up next to their computers when they need to be ‘in the zone’ is a great place to start. Use cute graphics to add humour, and apply the same approach to reminder signs around the office (we’re all guilty of leaving dishes in the sink!), or even create clever name tags for your boardrooms.

Cute Stickers

Laptop Stickers

Let’s admit it, stickers are awesome! Everybody loves them when they’re beautiful, relevant, and funny. They’re an easy, budget-friendly way to let everyone feel like they’re part of the team and proudly flash the squad stamp. Stickers have a ton of versatility in terms of materials, shapes and sizes. Whether they’re just your company’s brilliant logo, slogan, in-house lingo, or inside joke, these labels can live happily on laptops, water bottles, phone cases, or stationery. Stick with this idea, we promise the team will love them!

Wall Posters

Wallposters in office

Wall décor can really enhance a room and impact how people feel in an office space. Motivate and inspire your team by designing a series of posters based on quotes that resonate with your company’s values. You can even get your team to submit ideas, or interview your leaders for some words of wisdom. Your team will have a visual reminder of why they love working there and what they aim to achieve. Unity in emotional and mental states is a powerful thing that strengthens teams. Bonus: add a pop of colour and a modern feel through a marriage of bold type and colour blocks.

Notecards

Custom branded notecards

Handwriting is one of the most personal ways of communicating. To encourage people to take a much needed break from all things digital, design your own in-house branded notecards. On the front, you can keep it simple and use your company’s logo, or imagery relevant to your brand. Leave the back blank for personal messages to thank a teammate, give compliments for a job well done, or to simply say hi to someone working on a different floor (extra humour points: include a return address with the floor you’re on). Not to mention these notecards can also be used for external communication with clients!

Swag

Canvas bag with company logo an slogan

Surprise your team with branded swag they can use in their day to day life in and outside of the office. Think: reusable water bottles, tote bags, gym bags, apparel and stationery. A graphic designer will know just the right amount of branding these various items need in order to remain stylish, so your team will love wearing them and showing them off. Swag will not only make your team feel appreciated and celebrated, but will contribute to great office culture. It’s always a good idea to include the team in the design process of these items and get their feedback to make sure they align with everyone’s style.

Feeling inspired? Chat with your design team and find out what ideas they might have to help boost your office culture! Truth be told, these small ways really do help create the bigger picture of a great company culture. Think of each piece of branded office design as if they were words, combining to form a language. This shared ‘language’ is what ultimately bonds a team and turns it into an unstoppable, motivated, and genuinely connected powerhouse!

If you haven’t yet, take a look at our tips on desk décor for more inspiration on how to use design, colour and techniques to make your day as productive as can be.

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6 Desk Décor Tips To Make You More Productive

Fact: We spend close to one third of our lives in the office, sitting at our desks. Fiction: We have to keep our desks dull to ensure we stay productive. At Platterz, we’re tackling the myth that life in the office is bleak, and that your desk has to be a reflection of that. Not a closeted DIY expert? Don’t want to spend money on your office supplies? No problem! We know time is a luxury, so here are six ways you can effortlessly update your desk décor to optimize your workspace and workflow.

1. Combine Colours

The Benefit: Induce Emotions

colourful desk

It goes without saying that a day in the office is never black and white, so why should your desk be? Yellow is commonly known for energy and optimism, while blue is affiliated with relaxation and focus, and green with tranquility and balance. A study conducted by the task management app, Taskworld, suggests that, contrary to popular belief, implementing colours into your day will actually stimulate greater creativity, rather than serve as a distraction. Try opting for coloured pens or notebooks, or even a bright coloured coffee mug. We’re not saying every colour of the rainbow per se, but it’s important to find which colours are best suited to you, your role, and your work environment.

2. Strategic Supplies

The Benefit: Improve Efficiency

calendar with post-its

Whether you work on a computer or prefer traditional methods such as writing everything by hand, it goes without question that your office supplies should be tailored to fit the way you work. Do you write to-do lists everyday? Then jot down your thoughts in a daily agenda. Are you high-tech and use multiple devices at once? Tame the cord chaos with cable organizers to avoid your desk becoming a storage facility. You learn your best practices when you have the tools to support you, so be sure to check out Business Insider’s list of affordable yet undeniably beneficial desk-hacks. Seriously, you’ll ask yourself how you ever worked without them.

3. Plant Life

The Benefit: Feel At Home

plants at desk

According to WeWork’s Senior Designer, Rachel Montana, people want to feel at home, and personalize their workspace while in the office. Work is seen as an expression of who you are, so being comfortable in your own space is essential, and will help ensure others feel the same. What’s a simple way to bring home life to the office? Plants! According to The Guardian, “considerable energy has gone into showing how plants and flowers brighten the work experience.” In fact, the term Biophilia was coined to demonstrate how green office spaces reduce stress hormones and increase brain functionality. So, pick up a succulent, cactus and/or small flower pot – just don’t forget to water it!

4. Healthy Snacking 

The Benefit: Boost Energy

snacking on fruit jar

3pm strikes and you’re craving a bag of chips, or perhaps you have a sweet tooth and the convenience store across the street has unlimited chocolate bars. The only problem is that you’re busy at work and don’t want to binge on unhealthy treats. The easiest way to avoid the mid-afternoon-hunger-strike is by keeping a jar of bite-sized munchies on your desk. Having fruits, veggies and nuts ordered to the office make for effortless snacking, without sacrificing time and the charming aesthetics of your revamped tabletop. And if you get thirsty post-snack, replace plastic bottles with a coloured water bottle or themed tumbler to add a touch of spunk, all while staying environmentally conscious!

 

5. Stick to a Scent

The Benefit: De-Stress

aromatic oils on desk

We all know that scents tend to be very personal. Some people might love the warm essence of vanilla bean, while others might prefer a fresh lemon-lime aroma. However, there are actually a few scents that are proposed to have a universal effect on people, especially in the workplace. Candles are likely a no-go in an office building (fire hazard and all), so try keeping these rollerballs or oils lined up on a decorative tray. Not only do they provide subtle scents, they don’t hurt the eye nor disrupt colleagues! Not sure which fragrance you fancy? Huffington Post Canada points out that citrus-infused scents such as lemon and orange aid in concentration, peppermint reduces headaches, lavender’s nourishing properties help with stress, and cinnamon can combat fatigue. We’ll take all four, please!

6. Personal Touches 

The Benefit: Generate Sociability

photo frame on desk

Do you spend your 9-5 daydreaming of the last time you lay on the beach, climbed a mountain or slept in a hotel bed? Us too. And, as it turns out, we’re not alone. WeWork polled over 4,000 of its members around the world, and discovered the extensive lack of work-life balance in traditional offices—a notion that Platterz is already on its way to combating. The solution? Personalizing your workspace is crucial in both putting a smile on your face as you reminisce, and to serve as an effortless conversation starter. If you have a framed photo of your new Dalmatian, or a landscape of your bucket list vacation, add it to your desk collection! Colleagues and visitors to the office are bound to want to know more. Trust us, there’s proof in the pudding.

Try these out and let us know how you designed your desk by tagging Platterz in your desk décor photos on Instagram. If you’re already a master at creating a pretty yet productive workspace and have a method to the madness, share your tips in the comments below!

Don’t just want to limit this tips to your desk and are hoping to improve your office’s space too? Check out our spotlight on Top Hat’s office and take a peek into their interactive, innovative workspace for inspiration (FYI, they have purple walls!).

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