Tweaking the office atmosphere

Posted by Tobias Spöcker on January 16, 2017

Post-it wall

Company culture and office atmosphere

An attractive environment helps team productivity, even managers know that by now. Everybody enjoys working in a nice office atmosphere. A variety of things can help to reach this goal. For example personally customizable workplaces or aesthetically pleasing office design which usually includes colorful furnishing and decoration. Often, simply providing all the necessary tools to accomplish the job in a good manner can also be enough to achieve this.

Of course, this is only a fraction of what leads to a good work and office atmosphere. Besides the mentioned tangible options there are also social characteristics.

Examples to create a good social work atmosphere:

  • Transparent & open communication
  • Work-life balance
  • Rewarding hard work
  • Strong team spirit
  • Freedom

All those things together help to create an enjoyable company culture. (Check the extensive list created by Brittney Helmrich).

Upgrade your office atmosphere with a Post-It’s wall

In this post I’d like to share my way of improving the office atmosphere. We decorated our boring white wall with a ton of post-it’s.

Recently we renovated our office. Everything changed; all furniture, wall paintings and even the floor. The design was simplistic and nice, but we missed one thing in our room: colors! Some teams hung up a few posters or pictures to decorate the white walls but we, Team Moby, wanted to go a different way. First of all we searched for inspiration. This reddit post from Ben Brucker was superb. He used thousands of post-it’s to create a unique wallpaper in their office. I liked it so much I decided we should do something similar. So, I checked the internet for remarkable pixel art illustrations and combined them in several drafts. Those were used in a poll where I let my team decide which one to pick.

Wall draft winner

This design was the winner of the poll

Fun fact:
Our team is called “Team Moby”. That’s why I was looking for a pixel art of a whale referring to the big white whale which was called Moby. Our whale is blue because it looks nicer.

Spend 150 euros and have lots of fun, together!

I proposed the idea to our branch boss and I got the go! I ordered more than 5000 post-it’s and spend around 150€. The biggest difficulty was to get the right colors. So some colors were ordered from the US. When they arrived I used my so called “Apenkooi time” to build the wallpaper. Luckily a colleague joined my project. By the way: ‘Apenkooi time’ is the equivalent of ‘10% time’. It’s similar to Google’s 10% rule where employees work on personal projects every second Friday. Within our Development deparment this ‘Apenkooi time’ certainly contributes to our work atmosphere.

Let’s see some results now!

Enough said, here are some pictures from the building process.

build phase 1

A lot of post-it’s – you are damn right

Build phase 2

We used a crosshair laser to keep the post-it’s aligned

Build phase 3

Thx for the help mate 🙂

Build phase 4

The final result!

Another fun fact:
Our company’s product is helpdesk software that should make the use of post-it’s redundant. So this is a good way of dealing with all the remaining post-it’s ;-).

Happy team reviews (and a jealous marketing department :))

We received lots of positive feedback from developers. Also colleagues from other departments came to check out our awesome wallpaper. The Marketing department posted our wall on social media and received many reactions from customers. But most noteworthy, Team Moby really likes it and hopefully it will increase our motivation and efficiency as it beautifies our office atmosphere.


So now it is your turn!
If you want to do something similar and you need help, feel free to get in touch with me.

Do you need more info? I recommend Jeffrey Fermin’s article.

About the author: Tobias Spöcker

Scrum Master and QA Engineer at TOPdesk. Always looking for ways to improve, personally and within the organisation. Also football (not handegg) enthusiast, climber and music lover!

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