Spotlight on Poppin. work happy.


poppin logoSince its launch in September 2012, Poppin has been helping people work happy.

While you can count staplers, pens, and notebooks among their products, Poppin isn’t an office supply store; it’s a workstyle products company. What’s the difference? The passion and humor they bring to their work.

What’s So Humorous

Just about everything Poppin does has a dash of humor included. The products themselves are a great example of humor that works: everyday products with a twist of bold colors and matching office accessories.

A standard boring desk fitted with your normal supplies suddenly becomes a bright beacon of workplace happiness through the use of Poppin products.

work happy orange desk

Who wouldn’t get work done at this desk? credit:

But it’s not just the colors that add humor to what Poppin does. First there is the playful copy included on the website (such as the description for their Jumbo sticky notes: “Only a dinosaur would think they’re itty bitty”), the hidden humor messages on some of their products (like the acronym dictionary in the back of their notebooks), and the handwritten notes customers receive (order a product to see what I mean).

Second, many of the products themselves elicit humor, including XXL binder clips, easy-to-read rulers, and one of the coolest pieces of office furniture I’ve ever seen: the Ping Pong Conference Table.

ping pong conference table

From standard conference table to awesome ping pong table in seconds. credit:

Why the Humor Works

Humor is all about doing something a little differently and evoking a smile. That’s exactly what happens every time I pick up my solid orange pen–I smile because I love the color and because I’m reminded that I have a freaking orange pen!

Of course my obsession with a certain color isn’t the only reason the humor works. Studies have shown that colors can impact our mood [1] and our productivity [2]. Combine that with the fact that employees who have control over their own workspace are up to 32% more productive than employees in “lean” environments [3] and you start to understand the role our office supplies (and their color) can have on how we work.

How You Can Use the Humor

Want to use humor as Poppin does? The simplest way is to buy products from Poppin, which is easy whether you’re a consumer or organization. As a consumer, just head to the Poppin site.

As an organization, you can work with a Poppin work stylist to make sure your office setup matches the culture you want to promote. From there, individual employees can either pick their own supplies or choose from company-branded products you’ve selected.

But even without spending a dime, you can learn quite a bit from the culture at Poppin. Their motto is also their driving principle: work happy.

One prime example of this is their TGIM (Thank God It’s Monday) series where, each week, a different employee leads some sort of activity to combat the usual “case of the Mondays” attitude. Poppin not only talks the talk, but walks the walk (and staples the staples?) of their mission statement.

popping tgim

The Poppin staff after a Duct Tape Fashion Show for TGIM. credit:

Perhaps the best advice you can take from Poppin comes from their Director of PR, Meredith, who shared with me this incredible insight (which is my new mantra):

“Take ordinary moments and make them smile worthy.”
-Meredith Zenkel, Director of PR, Poppin

For more on Poppin, visit their site at To be considered for a humor spotlight post, contact


[1] Color psychology: A critical review.
[2] Color in Office Environments.
[3] The Artisanal Cubicle.

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