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How To Make An Office Bulletin Board People Will Actually Read

Ah the ol’ office bulletin, a.k.a. that place where fliers and memos go to die. Or, even worse, that place that looks like it was taken over by a kindergarten teacher who lacks the proper craft supplies.

Most offices have one, and most of them probably aren’t doing it right. Since we tend to spend so much of our work-lives on the computer, it can be easy to overlook the usefulness of having an analog place where information lives.

Here are some initial questions to consider with the powers that be before embarking on creating or revamping an office bulletin board:

How “fun” are we?
This might seem like a stupid question, but really the bulletin board should reflect your company’s overall culture. Just because you think it would be funny to have an employee-selfie-fail-of-the-month section, doesn’t mean your HR manager will. (However, I think it’s a great idea and I urge you to run with it.)

Will clients/bigwigs see it, and should we be worried about that?
Depending on the nature of your business, it might look unprofessional to have a board with wacky colors and the aforementioned employee photo contest. This should be considered when coming up with the overall aesthetics/guidelines of the board.

Is there anyone in our office who doesn’t want personal information, such as their birthday, made public?
Make note of the folks in the office who are camera shy or don’t care to make personal information public.

How often do we want to update it, and whose job should that be?
Come up with a schedule that makes sense for updating information and keeping the bulletin board fresh and useful. Remember, even though you are the captain of this ship it doesn’t mean you have to sail the vessel alone. See if other folks in the office want to get involved and start an office bulletin board committee of craft excellence!

There is an art—nay, a science!—to the perfect office bulletin board. The specific bits and overall look will depend on your office’s particulars. However, there is some standard anatomy to consider when creating one.

The Nitty Gritty

Here is where all the boring, yet mandatory company information should live. Nobody may ever read any of it, but it should live somewhere.

  • Specific information related to office closures, holidays, etc.
  • Emergency exits
  • New HR policies that people should be aware of.
  • The dates and times of upcoming staff meetings or company-wide events.

The Handy Information

This section can be for the Goldilocks content, not too boring, yet not overly whimsical. It’s just information that is good to know, and relevant for everyone in the office.

  • A map of the area that highlights where to find great food or after work drinks.
  • A chart that shows best ergonomic practices, as well as deskercizing.
  • If your office offers rotating snacks, post what the current snacks are and if they are kosher, gluten free, contain nuts, etc… If you are feeling extra fancy, post nutritional information.
  • Information about workshops or seminars that your co-workers might want to attend.
  • Interesting articles or new products specific to your company’s field.

The Fun Part

This section is a place for you to let your company’s culture and employees shine! Be as creative and wacky as your office will allow (within reason of course).

  • Information about fun initiatives that are going on in the company, like wellness challenges.
  • Introductions of new hires, for example: what do they do, how can you reach them, and perhaps a fun tidbit or two about them.
  • A makeshift craigslist board for folks who are looking for a roommate, selling a bike, etc…
  • A “shout out” section for anybody to say something nice about somebody else in the office.

Crafting ideas

The size, shape, and overall look of your board(s) will depend on the aesthetics and limitations of your office space. However might I offer up a few suggestions if you find yourself with a lot of freedom and/or a large crafting budget?

The magnetic chalkboard wall You can stick things to it, you can write things on it, and you can still hammer stuff to the wall (like a smaller cork board). It’s really the most swoon-worthy of the options.

Painted DIY cork boards This is a great idea if you want to break up the different types of information onto different boards, as well as tie in the color/style of your office.

Inspired? Now go create the most stunning bulletin board your officemates have every seen! Then a snap a pic and send it to us, and we’ll pin it to our bulletin board. (Whoa, meta.)

Office ninjas, what handy information would you put on your office’s bulletin board? Share it with us!

Responses

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  1. In our school we need to post daily notices, reading this post has given me many ideas that I could put on these notices.
    I still don’t have a title for my posts, I want another interesting name. Any suggestions?

  2. Great ideas and fun suggestions! Many thanks.

  3. I am a superviser and a factory I will to know how can I make the boards profetionla and fun

    1. Boards can be very professional when there are no spelling errors.

  4. I would like to name our board, but can’t think of anything creative. Any ideas?

    1. Hi Michelle! Any luck with a fun name? You could brainstorm a few options and send them to your crew to vote on. Try playing around with your company’s name and using an alliterative title. Those are always catchy!

  5. I work at a women’s shelter for women and children under the age 18yrs what are some ideas for the bulletin board for May 2017*** for the staff only***

  6. Thank you for this ideas.?

  7. there are 3 floors to our office building as well as the ground floor. Each floor has a pair of restrooms, water fountain, and a bulletin board. I am responsible for the postings and I change them every two months. I have enough space for 6 pieces of 8 1/2×11 paper. I scour the internet for humorous, informative, educational, and safety flyers. I either create the flyers myself, or if possible, print fact sheets from the various websites. I cull ideas from Reader’s Digest, ask.com, OSHA, Red Cross, state websites, and various “electrical” websites (our company is an electrical contractor and we are BIG on safety).
    Each floor also has a kitchen with a bulletin board. The flyers posted here are changed weekly, usually about 2 a week.
    I have had many compliments on not only the appearance, but the content of the boards. It is a real challenge to provide several hundred new and different flyers every year. Some are seasonal and holiday-oriented so they can be updated and repeated.

    1. It sounds like you are a bulletin board Ninja, Pat ;) What is the key ‘ingredient’ you look for when searching for a flyer that you know your colleagues will find engaging?

      1. I look for several “ingredients”–timeliness, humor, informative, non-religious, non-political, relevance to our industry, etc. Hence the challenge, keeping the flyers fresh and interesting…if they make someone smile or comment, all the better!

        1. Sounds like you’ve got the perfect recipe Pat! Thank you for sharing :)

    2. Hi Pat do you have any suggestions on office boards? Our office team has had a hard time coming up with new ideas every month.

      1. I pull ideas from Reader’s Digest, OSHA, History.com, Ask.com, NTSB, Safety Council, USA.gov, Real Simple, Natural Resources, State government websites, and websites that might have information pertinent to your company (ours is the Electrical Contracting industry), American Cleaning Institute, SafeKids.org, National Sleep Foundation, Women’s Health, Bizarre Holidays. I also Google sites for holiday information, office worker safety/behavior/etiquette, performance appraisal info, football season (your local professional sports teams), current events, healthy eating, your local news radio sites….just use your imagination and think whether you would have been interested in reading something that you might post…I try to hit a good mixture of humorous, informational, safety, current events, local to your area.

        1. and if I create a flyer using information from any websites, I give credit at the bottom, either in text, or post a small picture of their logo…

      2. Great question Shari! We’re sure there are plenty of folks out there who are wondering the same thing.

        And Pat – awesome tips! We might have to make this into an additional article :)

  8. I love these Ideas I will implement these ideas and tell others also

    1. Glad you liked them!

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