When you were a kid complaining about your chores, did your dad ever say, “If it was fun, it wouldn’t be called work!”
As much as I hate to disagree with Dear Old Dad, work is sometimes fun. And it should be. Adult American’s spend about half their lives at work or doing work-related activities and some of that needs to be enjoyable!
Now, I’m not saying that everyday is going to be a party. Work is, well…work. Things need to be accomplished, projects need to be completed–there needs to be productivity.
But employers can actually boost productivity with these tips to create a fun workplace.
1. Add a little competition. Competition is a great way to foster fun while getting things done. Friendly competition encourages us to work toward a goal–remember the gold stars your teacher put on the chart in first grade?
“A little interoffice rivalry is a great way to improve customer service, which often leads to a higher profit margin.” People Metrics
Whatever you choose to have your employees compete at, make sure there are good prizes for the winners! Gold stars just aren’t going to cut it.
2. Bring food. Healthy food! Good food! Bring it to your next morning meeting and watch the magic that happens when people sit around a table and share breakfast.
Try to avoid bringing things like doughnuts, cupcakes and other sugary foods as they can cause blood sugar spikes and actually lower employee productivity.
3. Take a field trip. Local sports games, theater productions, and state fairs are excellent ways for coworkers to bond. Hold it during work hours for employees only, or after hours and allow employees to invite their families.
“Many people spend more time with their work friends and ‘work family,’ than they do their real families. The time invested to promote goodwill between employees is time and money well spent. Giving people an opportunity to interact socially and see each other in a different light is a smart move.” Steve Strauss, USA Today
4. Redecorate. Ever notice how florescent lights, gray cubicles and beige walls just drain the energy out of you? Add a little fun to the decor of your office space by using bright, cheerful color–or go all out and completely rethink the layout.
“Changing the layout of the traditional office space is one important step towards creating a more fun office environment. Instead of bland cubicles and a water cooler as the only social space, companies such as Microsoft Zune have open space offices that encourage collaboration.” REPInteractive.
5. Smile. It’s really that simple. If you smile your employees will smile back. Positivity is infectious and a lot more fun than a frown.