We spend more time at work, with our work colleagues, than we do at home with our loved ones, or with our friends. That may be a slightly depressing realization, but it is true, and that means dealing with it. You can either lament that fact, and spend your time at work just trying to get through the day, counting down the minutes until you leave, and slowly sending yourself into despair, or you can embrace it. You can start to enjoy the time you spend at work, and the relationships you have with your work colleagues.
So how can you do this? How you can make the workplace a fun environment that not only leads to more smiles, and a happier lifestyle for all concerned, but will actually positively impact productivity and business performance because these things are not at all mutually exclusive. It may require a more open-minded style of management, but the results are there to see. Here are ten simple ideas on how to make your workplace that little bit more fun.
1. Let music get you in the groove
Who doesn’t like music? And the fact is, it’s motivational too, with studies suggesting that athletes who listen to the right style of music before competing actually perform better. If you can play music in a shared communal area, then do so. Make sure everyone gets input into what is played, but stay away from anything too down-beat and polarizing. Happy, motivational tunes for a happy, motivated workplace. Kickstart your day with s burst of energizing music, and don’t be afraid to sing along too, because that can be infectious. Don’t be too self-conscious, and you will see others follow your lead.
Grey walls, grey carpets. Grey, grey, grey. Why? We respond to the environment around us, so add a splash of color to your surroundings, and decorate with little pieces that reflect your personality. Not only will this help stimulate you, but it also creates topics of conversation which facilitate better teamwork and communication practices between teams and colleagues.
3. Use rewards
This doesn’t have to be management-led, it can be as simple as giving yourself a bit of candy for having made a tough phone call, for example. If you can extrapolate on this concept and make it a competition between colleagues, or within teams, then all the better. There are so many benefits from this type of practice, from motivating yourself, to giving yourself a sense of achievement, ultimately increasing efficiency and productivity within the team and business. What’s not to like
We have already touched upon this somewhat, but introducing some healthy competition into the workplace really can be a win/win situation. Please note that not all people respond well to such activities, so definitely make it an opt-in event, but introducing friendly and competitive elements, from sales targets to less business-focused activities, really helps to motivate, and create a buzz of energy and communication around these events.
5. Have food and drink socials
It used to be that colleagues went for a Friday beer. Those days are gone somewhat, and of course, people are restricted, and will want to get home after a busy week, so instead, factor in some food and drink elements to actual work time. Having a Friday lunch all together is a great way of doing this, and make the food a little more fun by including ice cream, pie, and popcorn, for example. An alternative would be to encourage workers to bring in foods that they like in order to share with colleagues, and if you have a multi-cultural team, this could involve having traditional days where you focus on the food of one particular culture.
“Nothing bonds people like good food and drink, and as we must eat every day, not making this a fun activity within the workplace is really missing a trick,” says Stu Redding, a manager at NextCoursework and Australia2write.
6. Use page-a-day calendars
There is a company in California that started this trend of distributing to all workers in the office a page-a-day calendar that contained different daily materials for every single employee. Those materials could have been a joke (keep it PC), some sort of life hack, or even just an interesting fact. The idea is that, because every worker had something different every day, they would share their material with their colleagues, therefore sparking conversation. It only needs a spark to help create friendlier and more communicative work environments, and sometimes a little idea like this is all it takes.
7. Compliment each other
Who doesn’t like a compliment?
“Of course with something like compliments, boundaries have to be set, and what is deemed acceptable and not acceptable must be established first, so there must be an open-minded culture in the environment in which you work in, but saying something nice to someone makes you feel better too. It’s a habit we should all be getting into wherever we may be,” says Sandy Choo, an HR professional at WritemyX and BritStudent.
8. Have a wall of fame
As the name suggests, a wall of fame is a place where you can post achievements and honor those who have performed well. Now, you can certainly have some fun with this too, by making fun of little actions and using light subjects (such as someone’s shoes, for example), but just as with the compliments, make sure that everyone is on board, and don’t victimize.
9. Have a comedy board
A comedy board is a place where you can pin cartoons you have cut out of newspapers or magazines, or attach jokes. Of course, in this day and age, this may be a digital space. Be careful again with what is deemed acceptable, but don’t be afraid to have a space where you share things that make people smile. It is such an important human habit which breeds better work practices too.
10. Make Fridays something special
Everyone has heard of casual Friday, so why not run with this and actually introduce theme days, where you have a certain element of fancy dress, for example. It could be something simple, like a hat day, or you could make it seasonal with Halloween, for example. It helps to get away from that formal, and dare we say it, boring business-wear too.
About the author:
Melissa Olivera is a Marketing Strategy Manager at AcademicBrits and PHDKingdom who is involved in different projects all over the world. She drives her passion for marketing through her job and always reaches her goals. You can also find her working at the educational site, Case Study Help.
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