As we discussed in our recent blog on productivity in the office, there are certain features and designs that can have a big impact.

Some are big, such as breakout rooms, and some are small such as slapping a different colour of paint on the wall.

One of the smallest ways you can provide your employees with a bit of a boost is by adding some motivational posters.

A recent study found that these uplifting and inspiring posters can increase employee performance by a whopping 33%.

But is this really the case? And if so, how can you make sure you’re picking the right posters for your staff?

Let’s find out.

The Birth of the Motivational Poster

It may sound crazy, but motivational posters and images have been used for over a century now.

There is evidence from the 1920s of small cards been handed out giving hints and tips on how to stay productive, including ‘keeping memos’ and ‘discouraging idle talk’.

While the posters of today aren’t as blunt as their 1920s counterparts, the use of imagery is still prevalent.

Over time motivational posters became more and more popular and began to be used on a wider level. This reached a peak in World War 2 when posters such as the famous ‘We Can Do It!’ began to be used to raise worker morale, especially among females. The poster contained an image of a female worker rolling up her sleeves ready to work and inspired many to help out in the war efforts.

These posters are still slightly different to the ones seen in offices throughout London today.

It’s now common to see imagery of celebrities, sports stars, and influential figures under quotations attributed to them. The ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky stating ‘you miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take’ is a popular choice.

There are also fun and cute images such as a cat telling you to ‘hang in there’.

As we make our way through the 21st century, motivational posters don’t seem to be dropping in popularity. Instead, they may even be gaining it.

Do Motivational Posters Work?

There are many takes on motivational posters.

Some find them uplifting, and a quick glance can provide a burst of energy. Others may see them as a waste of time.

There are undeniably some benefits of having them up, including:

They Are a Design Feature

With nice imagery and bright colours, motivational posters can be more than just a spot of inspiration.

They can be art.

They don’t even have to be in the form of posters, which may seem slightly old fashioned to some companies. They could be in the form of very modern neon signs, or wall decals, or shown on screens around the office. Or even printed on the office mugs.

Having nice artwork in an office is something that 82% of employees said was important, so this can certainly provide a boost to your staff.

But does it boost productivity?

Well, perhaps not directly from the artwork itself, but if your office walls are colours that don’t burst with inspiration, then adding some colour may certainly provide a boost.

Bright, dashing colours such as red and orange are known to provide a lift to staff members, so adding a splash of these through motivational posters could definitely have a positive effect.

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People Can Find Encouragement in Them

Whether you like them or not, there’s no denying that many people find solace in inspirational quotes.

If you’re having a bad day and your enthusiasm for work is running low, a quick scan of a poster may give you the little boost you need to jump out of your slump and get back to work.

We’re all guilty of letting our mind wander while sat at our desk, so something that can snap you back into action is surely a good thing to have around the office place.


Well, not according to everyone, and there are some downsides, including:

People Can Find Them a Bit Too Much

Sometimes motivational posters can have the opposite effect to what they are intended for.

If someone is feeling overwhelmed, or snowed under with work, taking a look at a motivational poster can sometimes increase the pressure that is weighing them down.

Neurodiverse people could find posters in their office over stimulating and the sensory overload could have an impact on their productivity.

Motivational posters can also deal in extremes and can lean to the side of ‘failure is not an option’. This can sometimes add to a tense working environment when things aren’t going as well as hoped.

Every business has ups and downs, and sometimes seeing a motivational poster can create a feeling of failure.

They can be seen as a bit Cheesy

In some businesses, motivational posters may seem a bit out of place.

Not all staff want to see them, and they may have an adverse effect on the décor of an office.

If an office is super sleek and modern, then putting a poster up in the middle of a wall may stray away from the intended theme and throw the whole thing out.

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How to Make Motivational Posters Work for You

The trick to making motivational posters work is to make sure you’re putting them in the right place.

In some offices, they will work a treat and give your staff a real boost. In others, they may have the opposite effect.

With that in mind, here are some tips on finding the perfect environment for motivational posters.

  • Know Your Staff – Your employees will spend a lot of time in your office, so getting to know them and their style preference is essential to making it comfortable for them. Why not run a survey or a quick experiment to see if motivational posters would work for them?
  • Don’t Overdo It – While we’ve said throughout this blog that motivational posters can work, no-one wants to see walls plastered in them. Too much motivation will lead to an overload, and lead to your office space looking cluttered. Keep the posters to a minimum and choose their position wisely.
  • Keep Things Fresh – Over time, the inspiration gained from the same motivational quote will dwindle. Swap your posters every month or so so that you are giving your employees something new to think about and also freshening up the décor with new colours and imagery.

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Motivational Posters in London Office Space

Every business is different, and therefore every office is different.

Where your staff will feel most productive, may be the complete opposite of another company. What you need to find is what works best for you and your employees.

In many situations, motivational posters are the perfect combination of nice artwork and inspirational quotes, and this can lead to a big boost in productivity.

What matters most is what makes your staff comfortable and fired up to work.

An office is an important one, so make sure you choose the perfect office space in London for your employees by working with One One One.

We don’t just help you find office space but can give you guidance on how to make it the perfect place for your employees to work.

Get in touch today to find out more.