10 Things to Make Work Fun Again
Nowadays more and more employers are seeking to make work fun. The question is, ‘How do you do that?’ Productivity games for work, getting outside the workplace, decorating the office to match your identity are just a few ways to foster a fun work environment.
How Workplace Fun Is Productive
AG Careers gives a breakdown how workplace fun can be productive, coupled with a test for your company and the benefits of humor. The test will in particular help whether or not your organization is having fun in the workplace.
Imagine a work world where people love their work environment, and they are calm, stress-free and happy all day long. People who are in good spirits are more likely to be productive. Their mental attitude produces increased oxygen, endorphins, and blood flow to the brain, which enables them to think more clearly and creatively. They are more relaxed, more accepting of others, and more likely to share their sense of humor.
Laughter creates a bond that brings others together; people like to be with employees who are having fun. Creativity, intuition and flexibility are key to successful operation of organizations today. In stimulating environments, employees enjoy their time at work and they will also excel at work. Attracting customers is easier in an environment of hospitality. A fun workplace is not only more productive, but it attracts people and profits.
A Test: Is Your Staff Suffering from Terminal Seriousness?
Scan your workplace and take note:
Do you regularly catch people laughing or smiling at work?
When something funny happens do people stop and appreciate it?
Does your organization have fun activities at least monthly?
Do you have tools (fun giveaways, draws) to invite employees to participate in having fun in your environment?
Are managers usually optimistic and smiling at work?
If you answer no to two or more of these questions, your staff probably suffers from “terminal seriousness,” which is negatively affecting morale and productivity. In other words, it is not a fun workplace.
More Benefits of Humor in the Workplace
Dr. Norman Cousins said, “Laughter is an igniter of great expectations.” Children laugh an average of 400 times a day and that number drops to only 15 times a day by the time people reach age 35. Preschoolers must know something we don’t.
Laughter releases endorphins (a chemical 10 times more powerful than the pain-relieving drug morphine) into the body with the same exhilarating effect as doing strenuous exercise.
Laughing increases oxygen intake, thereby replenishing and invigorating cells. It also increases the pain threshold, boosts immunity, and relieves stress.
How To Have More Fun At Work
Below you will find a list of proven tested ways to make work fun. Hopefully you get some benefit from them.
Have A Games Area
Encourage the team to take breaks to keep their motivation and energy. Naturally you want them to get away from their desks, so a ‘breakout area’ is prudent to have.
Contactzilla has a pool table with a sofa, bean bags and a picnic bench. This is how they describe their break room environment:
Even just a game of pool every few hours is enough to put a smile on our faces. Not only does it make us happy but we often end up chatting about projects over the pool table, giving us a fresh new perspective to take back to our desks.
Go Out Together
Bond with your team by going out for regular days and/or nights out. This is an excellent way to forge relationships inside the workplace.
Alexander Kjerulf, chief happiness officer at Woohoo Inc., asserts that socializing with your co-workers is essential to having a good work culture:
“If you’re not able to relate to your co-workers as human beings and build positive relationships, your career will suffer. Socializing and getting to know them as people will help you to communicate better, trust each other more and work better together.”
Tom Rath, author of Vital Friends, contends that people with a best friend in the workplace are up to seven times more engaged than those who are not.
Friendships in the workplace also help foster a ‘compassionate love’ culture which can lead to high levels of production, satisfaction and teamwork, as well as fewer sick days.
The office is a reflection of the company’s brand. Decorating to reflect that brand goes a long way to help everyone stay in with it.
If you don’t have any ideas, get everyone in the company involved and decorate as a team. This is a great way to get the team working together.
Get a dog
Some recent research shows having a dog in the office can increase productivity, reduce stress and spark dialogue between colleagues.
Another study reveals participants work with a dog in the vicinity rank their co-workers higher in terms of trust cohesion and intimacy than those who don’t.
Essentially, those who have a dog in the office can help your team work better.
Dogs bring people together!
Get a Beer In The Office
Contactzilla discusses how they do this:
Our team loves to learn new skills so every Friday afternoon, we hold a “tech talk” where one of the developers talks about a problem they’ve encountered or a new piece of tech they’ve been using. We find that sitting down with a beer at the end of the week and sharing knowledge is a fun and productive way to wind down.
Toast The Small Victories
Teresa M. Amabile, who studies organizations and how people behave in them, finds that one of the largest influence in workplace happiness is the productivity is what’s known as the “progress principle.” She writes:
“What we found was that, of all the events that occur on best days, one stood out well above the rest – simply making progress on meaningful work. We call this the “progress principle.”
Amabile also argues that meaningful work “does not necessarily mean lofty goals like curing cancer, only that the work be of value to the person doing it. In fact, meaningful work can be as ordinary as providing customers with a useful service or a quality product. But for the progress principle to take effect, the work must be meaningful in some way to the person.”
Peer to Peer Feedback
The boss of the company likely doesn’t know what each employee does on a day to day basis.
Contactzilla encourages their employees “to help each other out and give each other feedback, whether positive or constructive. They appreciate feedback from their peers who understand their work in depth and it helps them develop closer relationships and collaborate better in the future.”
Show Co-workers Photos of Your Kids And Pets
Yes. Be that guy. Here’s why.
Showing photos of kids and pets to co-workers can help with establishing friendships and relationships in the workplace. Studies also show that looking at cute animals can help people be more productive.
Encourage hobbies at work
Why not take a 30 minutes to let employees to work on their hobby? This is a great way to relieve stress and get away from the desk for a little while.
But Wait, There’s More
Surprise! Here’s another 10 ideas to make work fun from Lifehack. We hope you have even more office fun after this!
Open The Office Up To The Great Outdoors
While sitting in the park with your laptop can be cumbersome and dirty with animals coming after your food, there’s something calming about being outside.
But if you can’t go outdoors, take your office with your. According to Lifehack, architecture firm Selgas Cano firm Selgas Cano built a bunker for their main work space.
Every day, these lucky architects get to relax with the beauty of nature all around them–which is a nice break from drafting software and board meetings, to be sure.
Make Your Work Space Feel Like Home
There has been an enormous trend to towards the “home away from home” office design style.”
The fact of the matter is that employees generally need to work in a place separate from home to maintain a work/life balance, but the workplace can still be a comfortable place to work.
For example, check out Red Bull’s Cape Town’s office below with a shag carpet, bar, couches and open lighting. There’s plenty of opportunity to spark creativity.
This photo was around for quite some time. Somebody took this photo at one of Google’s offices. Slides, beanbags, Legos and video games are a mainstay at the Internet giant. Google’s campuses are well known for ensuring those extra hours are as comfortable as possible.
Hire An Awesome Architect
The architecture of many buildings is displayed very well. There are certainly some wonderful offices out there. The office below from Corus Quay is loaded with some unique quirks.
While putting a three-story slide might not be feasible, a few adjustments to the office’s seating plan, some new furniture and lighting might just be what is needed to help the employees each and every day.
Open Seating Plan
This is otherwise known as “coworking.” Lifehack explains:
Coworking brings an open seating plan and office structure that encourages cross-pollination of ideas, employees, and events in larger buildings.
Instead of the same 5 employees seeing each other every day, coworking spaces allow them to mingle with 10 other 5-employee companies, often with shared resources like gyms, cafeterias, and conference rooms that none of those companies could afford alone.
Playrooms are part of everyday life for employees at Lego Denmark.
It’s not a requirement to sell children’s toys or sports equipment to have a fun place to relax while at work. Go ahead and turn an unused conference room or office into a playroom so that employees can relax to take their mind off of work for a few minutes.
More Oxygen in the Office
Trees, plants, etc. bring vibrancy to the office it what’s an otherwise dull environment. They also bridge the gap between indoors and outdoors. Take a look what what Zappos did for their office below.
Pixar has office that really foster creativity. Lifehack explains:
From homey offices to lounge lighting, and themed offices from their movies, there’s nothing “normal” about working for Pixar.
Part of this is about giving freedom to employees to customize their work environment to suit their needs, but another part is enabling them to do so. Offer resources, incentives, and encouragement to be creative in new and exciting ways.
Work From Home
Everyone should have the chance to work from home or remotely, at least from time to time. For some people, it is absolutely perfect.
Get Down And Party
Parties outside of work hours and outside of the workplace are wonderful opportunities to foster great relationships with your colleagues and employees.
Facebook does this with bars in the building.