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Creative Ways to Welcome Teams Back to the Office


Are you thinking about a back-to-work welcome for your remote teams?

While WFH (work from home) has been the new normal, or the New Abnormal – yes, that is “shout-out” to the Strokes and their new album released last year, teams are making their way back to the office. Chances are many are ready to take a break from Zoom too. According to McKinsey, approximately 80% of remote workers disputed a report they preferred working from home.

McKinsey Research Statistic

As some companies adapt by extending hallways or reducing the amount of desks, some are offering amenities such as relaxation rooms for mental health. Clearly, employers want to make people comfortable and retain their talent. So, have you thought of ways to welcome folks back?

Consider the different ways your space could use a refresh. Sure, you could widen hallways, but in many instances, it is much more cost-effective to spruce a space then invest in a widescale renovation. In partnership with our friends at elbē creative partners and Peterson Picture here are some ways you can welcome folks back without a complete renovation.  No matter the updates you choose, your teams will feel great about coming back to see colleagues and the workplace!

Melissa McAtee and Thon Lorenz are the principals at elbē creative partners.

elbe creative partner logo used on the partner page.

They specialize in creating meaningful and cutting-edge interactive experiences for both temporary and permanent spaces. Here are some suggestions:

touchscreen interactive
A touchscreen can be a spontaneous and engaging opportunity for your internal team or guests. Whether mounted to a wall, within a kiosk or as a free-standing table, employees and/or guests can learn anything from a company’s history, to updated daily or weekly information featuring the bios of new hires or scheduled weekly events.

Touchscreen Technology Used in a Museum.

Scale of hardware and complexity of content can vary or be updated at any time, depending on the need.

Melissa Mcatee Quote on Using Touchscreens.

LED products
LED products are not only energy-efficient with a long-life span, but provide exceptional brightness and color range. They’re also programmable to make showcasing text, graphic and/or video displays easy and flexible. It provides an all-around ideal solution for a digital signage, whether indoors or out. Furthermore, you can use LED tiles that can be configured into the form of screens or ribbons of any size – sky’s the limit!

Creative Ways to Welcome Teams Back to the Office 2 Word Wall elbe creative partners

projection with sensor camera
Imagine entering a lobby or the reception area where visitors will encounter a large projected image on a wall that activates when approached. It might initially transition through time or perhaps reinforce branded imagery. Additionally, using gesture-based hardware, the scene can react in a unique way to either passively or actively engage visitors as they stand or sit nearby, making for a more immersive experience. For example, imagine a wall of trees that gently sway as you walk by! Or a projected map of the world highlighting your company’s locations across the globe where guests can gesture to learn additional information about a specific location. Various branding messaging could be incorporated into the imagery and reveal itself, whether randomly, or as part of passive guest interaction.

Creative Ways to Welcome Teams Back to the Office 3 Peterson Picture Logo

Gabriel Zucker handles business development, Marketing & overall Creative direction at Peterson Picture. They are an independent, family-run business that has been providing custom framing solutions for over 60 years. Customers are a mix of retail, government agencies, interior designers, and artists. We caught up Gabe for some insights to brighten the office space for those making a return.

Just as 2020 found many of us adjusting our home office space to make it more “professional” looking (think of how we prep for important Zoom sessions), the reverse holds true for our return to the traditional office place.

But who wants to go back to that anonymous, cold, trad environment? The workplace should be more than a collection of computers and charging stations. It should reflect individuality and charm. The office space needs to be personalized.

Wall décor is an inexpensive and simple way to add color and character. Whether you’re looking to brighten up the board room or the private office, unframed stretched canvas offers remarkable versatility.

Creative Ways to Welcome Teams Back to the Office 4 Canvas on Wall

Light and easy to install, stretched canvas provides ample wall coverage—especially at larger sizes. One or two pieces of strategically placed stretched canvas over bare walls will transform any room and bring it to life.

Stretched canvas has a tactile quality, which in turn provides visual ‘heft’ to a space. Yet it is also quite portable and light because it does not contain a frame or a glaze. Plus, it’s easy to clean! (simply by dusting).

Creative Ways to Welcome Teams Back to the Office 5 Canvas Print Installed

Whether you’re into contemporary art or vintage black and white photos, stretched canvas is an affordable, ideal way to outfit your office.

Much like the white or black tee shirt, white or black frames never go out of style and are always a safe bet. But sometimes we need to dress with a little more panache. Same for the office. Frames with color—think red, blue, even green—are the perfect way to spruce up those drab walls.  Frames do more than just structurally support and protect artwork. They also support the thematic components of the image.

Creative Ways to Welcome Teams Back to the Office 6 Wine Country Canvas Map

This is the beauty of using colorful frames:  it can serve as an accent to the image. It can help unify other pieces of art by replicating a color scheme. In fact, it can help bring together just about everything in the office, from furniture, to window treatments, to your company’s logo (which we hope is proudly framed!).

Creative Ways to Welcome Teams Back to the Office 7 Gabe Zucker Quote

What’s more, this can be incorporated into placemaking (orientation), which is nice for employees but even better for guests. Blue frames on the first floor, silver on two, red on three! (Anyone who has ever wandered around a parking garage in search of their car knows the importance of placemaking.)

Creative Ways to Welcome Teams Back to the Office 8 Claridge Elevator Banks First Floor Tight

Regardless of aesthetic, bold and bright frames will make any office space warm, inviting, and above all, unique.

Looking for ideas? We’d love to help.

Wall Graphics to Remind Remote Teams
For those venturing back to the office, we have one that can be repurposed beyond a hallway: create office wall graphics that showcase the evolution of your business. Add dates, founders, images of company parties, and business milestones.

Creative Ways to Welcome Teams Back to the Office 9 CCC Team Cover All Smiles

The beauty of this type of installation is all the information you collect for the graphics can be repurposed for blog posts or videos. As the design comes together, share renderings on social media and ask for feedback from followers. Team members will be reengaged with a brand they are proud to work for – and you can incorporate images into other forms of outreach.

Creative Ways to Welcome Teams Back to the Office 10 Lasalle Poll Stat

Our in-house team at Sepia Studio can develop a concept and bring ideas to fruition.

Workstation Shields
OK, this one is more functional post-covid, acrylic shields simply make people feel better about coming back, and protect team members!

Creative Ways to Welcome Teams Back to the Office 11 Sneeze Shield Jorge

Once installed, they are a great way to promote your brand in the office.  You can install decals or strips of privacy film.

In closing, we hope some of these ideas got the wheels turning! There are so many ways to brighten a workspace and we hope we can help you in the future!

Jon Davis

Jon Davis is Cushing’s Marketing Manager. From blogging to online communications, Jon writes about client developments, environmental branding, and much more. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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