Do you know where all the Inova facilities are located? If you were asked to attend a meeting in the Hearts Conference Room, could you find your way? What about visiting the Tiki Office, The Wizard of Oz or Hollywood Blvd? I’ll save you some beltway time and let you know they are all located at 5501 Backlick Rd., aka EpicCare headquarters.
So the story goes that Epic headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin has a whimsical and fun office environment consisting of themed conference rooms with unique decorations and a few toys thrown in for good measure. Because the level of stress in the technology arena can get very high, Epic counterbalances the tension with a fun, uplifting, carefree place to work. When the folks began setting up our EpicCare headquarters on Backlick Rd. they looked around at their new digs and sigh, it was plain. Very, very plain. Then the furniture started arriving, which helped…but it was still plain.
Kimberly Krakowski, Application Coordinator Analyst, started bringing things in from home in this spirit of Wisconsin’s themed rooms and slowly things began to look a bit more uplifting. Conference rooms received names, rather than numbers. The Hearts Conference room was easy to decorate because there was already a team formed to raise money for the Heart Walk and the heart decorations were purchased as part of the fundraiser. If you visit Season Major’s office, you will notice the theme changes with the seasons!
Folks were really noticing and appreciating the difference a few decorations can make for morale and Kimberly was given permission to go shopping for a few additional items. Kimberly was nominated for and won her department’s ACE award, which recognizes employees who demonstrate outstanding customer service or performance or have performed a one-time activity that is above and beyond his or her regular duties.
For me, it’s a good reminder of the importance of having fun at work and has inspired me to start shopping for a few wind-up toys for my office! The more tools we have that add spontaneity, fun, creativity and the reminder to lighten up, the more energy, levity and team spirit we create.
So embrace the child within and create a “break the tension” corner that invites a bit of wackiness into an otherwise serious day. Our office spaces, cubicles and break rooms are where we spend most of the day, so let’s make them genuinely fun and soothing places to be. Since it’s already spring cleaning season, I’m going to take a moment to de-clutter and re-fun today! What fun things do you have in your office that make you smile?