The first thing you’ll notice if you take a tour of Google’s New York City headquarters in Chelsea is color.

The iconic primary colors that come from Google’s logo occupy most of the walls and furniture. The second thing you might notice are the toys: razor scooters, old video games, and ping pong just to name a few.

Google can hardly be condemned for it’s childlike approach to office design. A study at the University of Florida shows that fun at work increases worker productivity. Although, perhaps the fact that Google rests at number 68 in Forbes’s list of the largest companies in the world should alone justify its eccentricities.
Still, not all office spaces in NYC (or the world for that matter) have adopted Google’s fun-loving work sensibilities. If you happen to find yourself in a cold, flat, mute-colored cubicle; there are simple ways to liven up your workspace:

1. Add life – Something as simple as a plant can definitely improve morale. They filter the air, and they provide you with a low-maintenance life to care for. If your office allows it, try some exotic plants. Venus flytraps are really zany and might give your office an extra bit of personality. Another cool option is a terrarium – they’re like mini eco systems. Typically a terrarium is some form of plant life, water, and brine shrimp. Light sunlight is all that’s needed to keep these brilliant little planets going.

2. Add space – If you’ve ever played Tetris, you’ll understand how just moving a few things around can give you much needed space. See if it’s possible to do some office furniture rearranging in order to provide more open space for your coworkers. Offices tend to get stuck in this idea that space is only for moving through, but it’s more complicated than that. A wide-open communal space can improve employee communication and liven up the office. If you can’t rearrange on a larger scale, start with your personal workspace. A clean and organized desk will definitely help your morale and productivity.

3. Add fun – games are excellent ways to learn and acquire new skills. We think a healthy amount of game play is essential to building better inter-office relationships and skills. Some companies have even signed their employees up for World of Warcraft, so they can work virtually and solve problems as a team. If you can’t get your team onboard for an occasional game, try keeping brainteasers by your desk for short sanity breaks.

4. Add art – colors and brand design go a long way. There’s a sense of company pride that can go hand in hand with extending the look of your brand into the office place. In addition, a certain sense of style can boost morale for the simple fact that it’s pretty to look at. If you’re an employer, think about painting a wall or purchasing large art pieces that embody the image of your company. If you’re an employee, decorate your workspace appropriately. Making your space feel more like something you own can help boost your enthusiasm for your job.

Got any other suggestions for bettering your workspace? Tell us about them. You can voice your opinion on Facebook or Twitter @TKOfficeSpace.

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