How to Design a Killer Game Room in the Office
Entrepreneurs set on grabbing top talent and injecting their company with startup culture often start by creating spaces to have fun with their teams. They want to create a workplace that projects a sense of passion and puts their personality on display. They want to differentiate themselves from the startup down the street and larger companies drawing from the same talent pool, and increasingly, they’re looking to space to make that differentiation.
But unique spaces in the office that are created for fun and are branded and authentic don’t happen by accident; they take intentional thought and design planning. Just adding a pool table or foosball may not be enough, and without careful design things could come off looking more like a bachelor pad than a workplace. But done right, a game room could inject your space with the startup vibe we all covet, help grow a sense of community and attract and retain talent.
If you agree and are ready to create a game room for your employees, or if you’d like to present the idea to your boss, here are few points to consider:
Think about the where you’d like this game room to be located and the design of the layout. Where can you realistically carve out a space where it will not be too distracting or noisy? Will it be okay for your team to use this space during normal work hours? Or will it be tucked back where no one can see it? I like to locate game rooms near a break room or lounge space where staff naturally congregates for lunch or coffee break. An accessible game room will ensure its use —as long as leadership models that gaming is acceptable.
There are ways to buffer sound from building walls and doors, but you should still be mindful of the noise that a game room (and gamers) will produce. From digital sound effects to human cheering, don’t forget to consider acoustic wall panels, furniture pieces, carpeting and rugs to help absorb sound.
What types of games will you have in the space? If you’re thinking of non-digital classics like ping pong, foosball and billiards, remember they each require clearances to play around them. Make sure plan for those clearances before buying furniture or building new walls.
Are you going for a residential, living room appeal? Or are you drawn to colorful, active and fun spaces? Colors, patterns and textures complete the ambiance of the space, conveying its personality, and by extension, the personality of your team and your brand.
As mentioned, game rooms are shared spaces that promote socializing. Therefore, lounge pieces accompanied by coffee tables and movable pieces like ottomans support the idea of comfort and adaptability, while adjusting to different size groups.
Aside from attracting talent and creating and sense of community, game rooms encourage socializing and kicking back during breaks. But another function (and nice side benefit) is that they encourage employees to move around, destress and build relationships with coworkers. And not only can that translate to happier employees, it could also mean more engaged employees who are willing to stick with you for the long haul.