Who says the workplace can’t be a fun place? Whether you work from home or not, sometimes it’s tough to remember that ALL work establishments benefit from a little whimsy.
I once worked with someone who gave everyone in our group what she called a “roller derby name.” We had Spider, Snake, Boog, and Mad Dog—and those are only the ones I remember! This same woman used funky pencils, erasers, and sticky notes. She did serious work, but she did it with funk and quirk. Her laid-back approach to work life helped make come together as a team.
Make a pledge to be the fun instigator where you work, even if you work alone. And what better time to start than Wednesday, that midpoint of the week when we all start to droop? Here a few of my picks to get you started. And if anyone wants to know just what you think you’re doing surfing the Internet on company time, you can assure them it’s work-related.
If you’re worried your coworkers are too serious for these whimsical lights, introduce them on a holiday or for a special event—Easter for the bunnies, Cinco de Mayo for the origami skull, Valentine’s Day for the heart, and a birthday, wedding or baby shower for the dotty light string. THEN, after said special day, don’t take them down. They’ll become part of the furniture—I guarantee it!
Go for whimsy AND beauty in office decor
While it’s important to do our work with pride, it’s also important to remember there’s more to life. The winky-man print and those fun papier-mache animal heads can remind you! Meanwhile, that busy bee cushion on your office chair will remind the boss you’re hard at work even when not at your desk.
Every office can use more plants to replenish the oxygen, right? The dotted acrylic table works as a printer stand or a stylish reception table, while the faux lizard totes in nine fun colors convert to file boxes. They come in sets of two—one for letter-size files and one for legal-size.
Sort, collect trash, or pretty up a plant pot—these handwoven baskets can take it. Every time you look at them (in addition to admiring your good taste) you’ll know your purchase helped support a fair trade craftsperson in India.
This Anthropologie trio has stolen my heart! The kitty and octopus bowls are great for paper clips, rubber bands, candy, maybe even a plant (there’s a whale version too). And the three colors and shapes of succulent candles come with a subtle scent to calm frayed nerves—rosewater, Moroccan mint, and peach and currant.
Trinket trays and organizers can be fun, pretty, AND work hard. Perched on your desk, any of these will become a conversation-starter that gets a meeting going on a pleasant note. (And it doesn’t hurt to remind your coworkers you really deserve a crown ;->)
Toy with me, please!
Play increases creativity, so don’t go to work without your toys. Sometimes all you need to do is look at them to smile, relax, and be more productive.
The set of seven sparrows reminds me of “ducks in a row” and could be used as a mood barometer. Line them all up when things are going well, move them around as the chaos and frustration grows. The three golden party animals may be made for a nursery, but I’m buying them for my guest bath. They’ll fit right in with the whimsical animal dictionary prints and would look cute on a desk too. And that wire-sculpted dog is just too sweet! I would never get tired of posing him or maybe moving him to a coworker’s desk as a surprise.
The people who brought us Magnetic Poetry (which is also a good play-at-work toy) now offer Magnetic Design Shapes. Let your fingers create a work of geometric wonder on the side of a desk or a file cabinet while your brain sorts out the answer to a complex work problem.
I love artists models, and this “family” is just too cute. Like Rover the wire-form pooch (previous photo) these guys can be posed and suspended for years of office shenanigans.
These sculptures and mobiles may LOOK like art, but they’re really well-disguised work toys (the best kind) and provide a playground for your artists models. I can already picture the wooden family swinging from the rolling cubes (left) or dangling from a crop circle (right).