Most people don’t associate work with fun—but they should. Many studies have shown that employees who are happy on the job are more engaged, satisfied and productive. They also miss fewer days of work.
Thankfully there’s a whole day—National Fun at Work Day (January 28)—dedicated to encouraging companies to make their workplaces fun and engaging. While meeting business objectives and minding the bottom line are always important, company leaders also need to realize the big return on investment of having engaged employees who feel camaraderie with their colleagues.
Need some inspiration on how to lighten up your work environment while promoting team building, communication and engagement? Here’s some food for thought.
Organize social activities for employees
Office culture is evolving to be more open and sociable, and many workers today expect their employer to offer engaging activities that offer opportunities to connect with coworkers. This could be anything from catering a staff lunch each month, to organizing an employee volleyball team, to taking everyone to a baseball game. Every company is different, so some of the ideas for team-building activities that will make sense for your group of employees will likely come from the employees themselves. So ask them!
Play fun office games
Beyond planning social events and outings for your employees, consider quick, fun office games (AKA icebreakers) that encourage employees to get to know each other. After all, it’s hard to build trust with people you don’t know. A couple of ideas: a five-minute office scavenger hunt with employees divided into teams or a game that requires them to communicate nonverbally.
Host employee contests
A friendly competition, such as vying for the best desk decorations or the best chili recipe, are an easy and creative way to encourage employees to bond and get to know each other. You can have employees vote on the winners and have them compete on teams or individually. The prize can be something fun, such as a restaurant meal together for the winning team or all the employees.
Keep in mind that National Fun at Work Day shouldn’t be the only day of the year you aim to make your workplace fun. You’ll reap benefits by having team-building activities and social events year round that encourage your team members to get to know each other.
About the Author
Kelly Spors is a freelance writer and editor based in Minneapolis. She previously worked as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering small business and entrepreneurship.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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