Tips to Make Office Life More Fun!
Need a little help to make your office life more fun instead of boring and tedious? Studies show that happy employees are 12% more productive than unhappy employees, as well as more creative, better able to solve problems, and are more effective collaborators.
Furthermore, breaking up the workday with activities that get people moving physically, using different parts of their brains, and interacting with each other on a different level has many benefits for any company. It fosters creativity and team-building, as well as actually improving performance and concentration when people go back to work.
While many factors play a role in overall employee happiness, there are so many ways that a workplace can be made more fun – not just more happy. Here are just a few ideas:
Funny channel/list: start a chat channel or e-mail list dedicated to humor. Everyone enjoys funny pictures or quick reads, but it’s helpful to keep it in a dedicated channel rather than cluttering up normal business communications. Busy employees can opt out when they have other time pressures, but everyone has the opportunity to tune in and get a little laugh throughout the day.
Theme days: choose a movie, show, or game that many employees like and appreciate, and dedicate a day to it. From an ease-of-work and increase-in-participation perspective, it’s helpful if these themes are a little more real-world and don’t involve outlandish costumes (unless your team loves outlandish costumes). A Marvel superhero or Game of Thrones day might be a great idea, but not so easy to implement in the workplace. But if your team loves pirates, James Bond, or The Big Lebowski, dedicate a day to it. Encourage people to dress up and adopt the role for the day. If you want to go all the way, you could decorate the office and serve food or drinks to go with the theme.
Office Olympics: it’s easy and fast to stage office chair races, peanut-butter-sandwich eating contests, broomstick limbo competitions, or even just quick dance breaks to a fun song. Try to get people up and out of their seats for a little while, interacting with each other on a different level. These type of activities are even more fun if you create a silly trophy that can be passed around.
Playground games: Get some red rubber balls and re-introduce your team to kickball, dodgeball, or foursquare. Foursquare can even be played indoors, if there is space for it by using a rubber ball and masking tape to mark out the squares. Look to childhood games for fun and inspiration, and break up the workday with a proper recess.
Toys: everyone loves toys, so get some to put in and around the office. Coloring books reduce stress, and people can’t get enough of fidget spinners. Encourage people to take a break and blow bubbles or have a Nerf gun showdown at noon. Give toys as prizes for small achievements, particularly during high-pressure workdays.
Hire or rent something fun: rent something (or someone) fun for a few hours. A couple ideas are a face painter or caricature artist, or a photo booth or a karaoke machine. You could even hire a food or coffee cart for a fun, engaging lunch hour. But please don’t hire a clown. Never hire a clown.
When introducing fun activities into your office, be mindful of your team and your office culture. Be attentive to what they like, and what they have time for, and what they are likely to participate in. An office event is like a party, and you want everyone to come and have a good time. Try to keep some events simple and spontaneous, while others can be more expensive or elaborate. Encourage people to have their own ideas and break up the workday with fun on their own. With attention to the culture you have and the culture you are trying to create, you can have a workplace that balances fun with productivity, creating happier, more engaged, more creative employees.