Is your workplace having fun? As counterintuitive is it may seem, incorporating fun into the workplace can create a big boost in productivity. Indeed some of the most successful companies in the world are also some of the most fun places to work. Why? Because sharing a few laughs with your employees can make them healthier, happier, and able to work harder.
Just look at what the following studies found:
The University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy study: productivity increases by an average of 12% and reaches as high as 20% when employees are happy in the workplace.
California State University Long Beach research: people who have fun at work are more creative, more productive, work better with others, and call in sick less often.
BrightHR study: 79% of graduates believe fun at work is important, with 44% believing it encourages a stronger work ethic.
The science is in. Workplaces that know how to incorporate fun have a competitive advantage over their competitors because their employees are more productive, do better work, and are more likely to be loyal to the company because of a higher job satisfaction.
Ready to create a culture of fun in your workplace? Here are 5 easy ideas you can implement this week:
Author William Arruda writes, “[One] way to inject fun into work is through work-sponsored outings. Socializing with people in the office helps build trust and strengthen relationships, but going off-site adds an element of personal bonding because employees will have something in common beyond the workplace.”
There are workplaces where colleagues enjoy a movie matinee in the middle of the day to shake up an otherwise mundane office schedule. For ventures outside of office hours, consider dinners, museum visits, or trips to a national park.
A study by UnitedHealth Group found that volunteering makes employees feel better physically, emotionally, and mentally. In fact, 76% of participants said that volunteering made them feel healthier, and 94% said that volunteering improved their mood.
Volunteering as a team is a great way to doing something meaningful in the community while also giving your employees yet another opportunity to bond with each other. Examples of volunteer projects can include: Habitat for Humanity, food drives, charity runs, tree planting, cleaning up a local park, and more.
Celebrating people’s birthdays is a great way to let people know they are appreciated and enjoy a more relaxed day in the office. But you don’t always have to wait for a special occasion to have some fun.
Come up with a theme day every now and then (i.e. superhero day, remember the 80s day, pajama day, etc). This will visibly boost the morale of your employees and create a space for laughter all day long. You can even have your employees come up with themes and vote on the ones they like best.
Don’t underestimate the importance of your workspace’s ambiance. A report from the World Health Building Council states, “There is overwhelming evidence that the design of an office impacts the health, well-being and productivity of its occupants.” There’s a reason why Google’s offices have rock-climbing walls, bowling alleys, aquariums, slides, and more.
But you don’t have to go all out to create a working environment that boosts happiness. Simple amenities such as natural light, vibrant colors, casual dining spaces, along with the freedom for employees to decorate their personal spaces in a way that makes it feel personal (i.e. photos, knick-knacks, plants, etc.).
Start a Collaboration Wall
Designate a wall in your office with the sole purpose of engagement and collaboration. There are many ways such a wall can be used. You might make it a ‘Wall of Fame’, where you post thank-you notes from clients, news clippings of your company’s successes, awards, etc. If you want to make the wall more interactive, consider using it as a space where a new question is posted every Monday morning, and employees are encouraged to write their answers on the wall. Sample questions can be: What’s one thing on your bucket list? What’s one of your favorite childhood memories? What’s your ideal holiday spot? Employees will enjoy sharing their stories but also reading the anecdotes their colleagues have written down.
Other ways workplaces use a collaboration wall: as a place to post jokes and newspaper comic strips, as a place to feature photos of employees and their favorite quotes, or as a display for themed photos (i.e. a photo from childhood, a photo from your favorite holiday, a photo with your pet, etc.).
Incorporating fun into the workplace is one of the easiest ways to ensure your employees are happy, healthy, and engaged with their work. Which of the above suggestions will you be implementing in your workplace?