Employee Engagement in Fun Areas

When I think of fun areas I think of a place to get your mind off the day to day grind and recharge.  One of our designers thinks of it as “recess for the brain”.  We like to call them relaxation areas.   There are many different ways to include a relaxation area in your office.  Here are some of the ideas I thought were fun and innovative. 

Google likes to incorporate fun into the workplace by providing a slide you can take to change floors.  That brings a smile to most faces when you think of it.


Inventionland likes to stay productive while working on a ship surrounded by water.   


Heineken incorporated a bar into their space so employees can kick back and relax after a hard day at work.


Are you thinking of changing your office space to include a relaxation area?  More and more companies are incorporating fun into their workplace.  Usually this is a significant investment for the company so you want to be sure that your employees are utilizing the space.

Haworth, our major manufacturer, understands the struggles with engaging employees to use new fun spaces.  Here are some key points to keep in mind:

  • Speed of Adoption – How quickly are employees using the new space?

  • Ultimate utilization – Are employees participating and engaged in the new space?

  • Proficiency – How effective are employees with the new space?  Is there still productivity in the workplace?

  • Reinforcement - Show employees that you want the space used and that change is acceptable.

Culture of the organization plays an important role when changing a space.  Successful change starts with strong leadership that is active, visible, and engaged in the process. Leaders need to define their commitment to achieving organizational objectives. They also must set the pace for transi­tion by maintaining urgency, focus, and excitement while driving targeted and timely decision-making.   A unified approach will ben­efit the organization as a whole.

Leaders need to walk the talk – employees look to them to gauge their commit­ment to the change. Executive teams unified in their attitudes toward the transition and sharing a common vision will be poised for success. Make sure your leaders are using that slide or utilizing that new bar to have a productive meeting.

Leadership must drive the transition – they must be visible and active, but they must also identify key transition champions who will actively endorse the changes within each department. These champions should feel empowered to be part of the process. This requires more than traditional buy-in or passive agreement – it demands ownership and the willingness to accept responsibility for making the engagement happen in all areas they influence or control.

Communication is critically important to the engagement pro­cess.  Tell employees it is acceptable to use the new space. Timeliness and clarity of communi­cation will help reduce uncertainty and dispel rumors that often derail success­ful engagement.

Remember to keep in mind the four key points of adoption, utilization, proficiency, and reinforcement if you are thinking of introducing a relaxation area in your space in the near future.



Header image via

Angelica Nolff