It’s impossible to ignore the influence Google and other Silicon Valley companies have had on modern office design. The casual workplace is now a staple of the 21st Century and is said to be benefitting businesses and employees alike.

But what about the quirks that are so well associated with the Google office? Are they necessary workplace features?

We recently stumbled across a Perkbox article that suggested reasons why your office should have a ping-pong table. We decided to delve into the topic a little deeper, looking at the pros and cons, to answer the question: does your office really need a ping-pong table?

Pros

Promotes strategic thinking

Ping-pong tables in the office are nothing new. In fact, as Perkbox points out, they entered the workplace in the 1990s.

During this time, ping-pong experts came out in droves to show how the game stimulated brain function, promoted strategic thinking, and helped increase concentration and alertness.

By taking a break to play some table tennis, employees go back to work feeling more engaged and with heightened tactical thinking.

Great for team building

Whether it’s one-on-one or played in teams, ping-pong is a great way to get the whole office involved.

CEO and founder of Uberpong, David Lowe, explained: “Table tennis creates a distinctive sense of togetherness and allows you to see a different side to your co-workers, breaking social barriers and pulling your team together.”

An inexpensive way to inject some fun into the office

As these office quirks become more mainstream, more employees expect to see them in their workplaces.

Not all companies have the space or the budget to install slides or create a beach hut bar, but a ping-pong table offers a cheaper and more space efficient alternative to bring a more relaxed element into the office.

Cons

Distraction

The main argument against installing a ping-pong table in the office is that it could be a major source of distraction. Sure, those playing ping-pong might feel some benefit when they eventually head back to their desks, but the noise certainly won’t be beneficial to those trying to get on with their work.

Your employees should be encouraged to take breaks throughout the day, but they could end up spending more time involved in a ping-pong tournament than working on meeting their deadlines.

Takes up valuable office space

Sure, everyone will probably be queuing up to have a go the first week a ping-pong table is brought into the office. But once the novelty wears off, you could find it sits gathering dust in the corner.

If you’re already short on space, the ping-pong table could end up taking up office floor space that could be put to better use.

A recruitment fad

Is it actually something your workers want? If not, it could end up being seen as merely a ploy to attract potential recruits. But if it doesn’t truly reflect your office culture, you could end up giving the wrong impression of what your company is all about.

It’s a stretch too far to say that every workplace needs a ping-pong table — it certainly isn’t going to be right for every office. But there’s no denying that the younger generations making up the workforce expect office design to reflect a more relaxed company culture.

And there are many benefits to having quirky features in your workplace — from increased employee satisfaction to greater collaboration.

Find out how else you can boost employee productivity and engagement through office design by giving Kerr a call today.

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