Work isn’t supposed to be fun, right? If it were, then they wouldn’t call it work. Well, yes and no. No one is saying that the workplace should be a 24-hour party place, but a boss manages to achieve the right balance between a productive workplace and a fun atmosphere in which the employees actually enjoy working has struck workplace gold. Finding ways of making the workplace fun is relatively easy; this list includes 4 ways that help promote a fun work environment, in turn fostering improved employee morale and increased productivity.
1. Improve the Break Area
Is your break room just another room with a table and chairs? Not very stimulating, and certainly not fun. It’s not much of a break if employees can only sit at a table and talk about work. You can try sprucing up the break room with some posters, plants, or other creative design ideas, but that’s just a good start—don’t stop there. Why not add a pool table or ping-pong table, or a television with a video system like X-Box or Playstation? A break in which employees can engage in a fun activity will have them going back to their desks renewed and energized, rather than even more drained than they were before the break started.
If your building is large enough, you might consider making another room into a small gym fitted with exercise equipment. Some companies even have a bar installed in an area where employees can gather once a week for an in-house happy hour.
2. Develop a Fun Employee Newsletter
You can ask employees to make a contribution to a newsletter once a week. The content can be anything they desire, from a good recipe to a series of jokes, to poetry or a short story about a recent trip. Employees should also include “Did You Know” facts about themselves, such as “Did You Know: Dave Smith makes grows his own herbs to make herbal tea?”
3. Schedule Activities
Many offices have small celebrations for employee birthdays, but this gets old real fast. After the obligatory piece of cake and ten minutes of chatter, employees go back to work. This is hardly a high rating on the fun meter. Why not try scheduling bi-weekly or monthly activities instead?
Once a week, you can order in take-out from a pizza place, deli or Chinese food establishment. Bi-weekly, you can schedule an employee outing to a lunch, or even a movie. You can also plan different types of activities such as a Karaoke party. Think up ideas for fun contests, have holiday parties for holidays other than Christmas, and even have a DJ in once in a while. There are several services that also come to your office to conduct team-building exercises in a fun manner.
4. Celebrate Milestones and Achievements
Instead of celebrating birthdays, why not celebrate work-related milestones such as anniversaries or special achievements. Hold a celebration for employees celebrating their year, five-year, or ten-year anniversary. Hand out certificates or other tokens of gratitude to employees who have performed excellently. Make a celebration out of this too, so that all employees can participate in the fun.
These are just some ideas for making the workplace fun; you can probably think of several more. The important thing to keep in mind is that employees who are allowed to have fun in the workplace are better producers. Fun in the workplace also fosters more communication and teamwork. Lastly, don’t forget to have fun yourself and participate with employees. A boss is only a boss when working—a boss who can have fun with the employees increases their level of respect and improves employee morale.
About the Author:
Valerie Cecil is a research coordinator, marketing specialist and writer for Outbounding.com. Her work allows her to investigate many topics, ranging from online consumer relations to effective communication in the workplace. When she is not working, she enjoys kayaking, watercolor, and buying the most colorful paper gift bags she can find.