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.
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!