May 24, 2021

A welcome workplace does a lot to boost employee productivity, engagement, and overall mental health. But many of us left stark, bleak, unwelcoming offices when we started working from home over the pandemic. Now that we’re coming back, it’s a good idea to think about how you can make the office a more welcoming environment for your returning employees.

Add “conversational” Furniture

One easy way to make your office more welcoming is to add a few pieces of “conversational” furniture. These pieces can be anything from futons to coffee tables to cushioned sofas where employees and clients can collaborate and communicate comfortably.

So-called conversational furniture is excellent for inspiring just that: conversation. It adds to a warm and lively atmosphere and can make your employees feel more like they are at home.

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Put up some Inspirational Posters

It’s also a good idea to put up some inspirational posters. Fortunately, you don’t have to have professional design experience or hire an expensive designer to craft and print high-quality posters to inspire and motivate your employees.

PosterMyWall is a free tool you can use to access thousands of inspirational poster templates, then tweak those posters to your exact liking. You’ll also be able to convert these templates into digital files you can copy and print right on your office’s printing equipment. Easy!

Not sure what kinds of posters to make? Here are just a few great ideas:

  • Make a poster related to the pandemic – for example, posters showing that “we’re all in this together” showcasing teamwork can be great for fostering team spirit
  • Make a poster focusing on triumph. These posters can be excellent for welcoming new employees into the office
  • Make a poster meant to inspire leadership for your managers, demonstrating the power of a take-charge attitude through a single image or iconic phrase
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The sky’s the limit when it comes to the kinds of posters you can create.

Choose Accent Colors for the Walls and Furniture

Consider doing a little repainting of the office interior and choose some vibrant accent colors for the walls. Bright, engaging colors that are likely to drive mental activity and help your employees feel more productive when they step in the door.

Similarly, if you plan to purchase new furniture for the upcoming season, try to choose chairs, tables, and desks painted in complementary accent colors such as blue, yellow, and green. Imagine a new couch in bright green or a break table in orange. Or consider making your desk – the boss’s desk, in fact! – yellow and bubble, just in time to welcome new employees to the office.

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These colors are certainly eye-catching, but they also drive productivity and make your workplace feel more engaging and alive. That, in turn, makes it feel more welcoming for new employees on their first day at work.

Pick some Decorative Lighting

Lighting can play a big role in the atmosphere or ambiance of your workplace. To that end, be sure to choose some decorative lighting pieces that are friendly and even quirky. Lamps and light fixtures can be redesigned or replaced for energy efficiency and an indie startup vibe that will make your office feel like an awesome place to work, even for folks who’ve never been there before!

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Place a Few Plants

Plants are fantastic for mental health and they help your space feel more connected to nature. Be sure to place them in areas with lots of natural lighting, such as big windows, and have someone in the office make sure that the plants are regularly watered and cared for.

A few plants can do a lot to brighten up your workplace and make it feel more welcoming, especially during the dark winter months. Just be sure to choose your plant species carefully; some plants do better in indoor environments than others. Here are some good examples:

  • African Violet, a beautiful purple plant that thrives in human-comfortable temperatures and conditions. They’re small and grow best when not in direct sunlight
  • Snake plant, a classic and simple plant that can grow up to several feet high!
  • English Ivy, a soft and delicate-looking plant that grows tendrils you can wrap around pillars or columns in the office
  • Aloe, an easy-to-grow plant that needs a lot of bright sunlight to grow healthy and strong. Fortunately, these only need watering once every few weeks
  • ZZ plant, also called Zamioculus zamifolia. It’s a succulent with excellent tolerance for low light and low water: the ultimate low-maintenance office plant
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Allow Personal Touches at Employee Workspaces

Lastly, let your employees decorate their desks and other workspaces with personal touches including photos, trophies, and other accessories. The more individualistic and personalized employees can make their workspaces, the more welcome the office will feel overall, even if some of their choices or aesthetics feel a little iconoclastic with the overall theme of the office.

Ultimately, each of these strategies can go a long way toward making your office feel more welcoming as people come back to work after a long stint of working from home. Implement some or all of them – it’s up to you!

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