5 Magical Ways To Make Your Workplace More Enjoyable and Fun Again
Highly motivated employees often find their motivation from working in a pleasant office environment. It is to your advantage to make your workplace a happy place for your employees–the more they can play and relieve stress, the harder and more efficiently they’ll work. To make the workplace more enjoyable and fun and a happier place for your staff to spend their workdays, try out some of all of the ideas covered below.
Would you believe me if I told you that the happier your employees are, the more successful your company will be?
It may sound like the definition of a “Care Bear” management style, but study after study has shown that employee happiness has a direct correlation to your bottom-line. Companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%, and happy salespeople close 37% more sales. It’s hard to ignore those numbers.
Having a fun environment is an important variable that contributes to a great place to work for employees.
A fun workplace reinforces the feeling of belonging and inspires loyalty. Moreover, happy workplace culture will see numerous positive results, including better productivity and increased employee satisfaction. Having a fun day can simply be about enhancing the monotonous everyday activities so that employees actually want to come to the office. It is a means of not only engaging workers but also retaining your top performers.
Joyful workplaces are buzzing with people bursting with energy, vitality and enthusiasm!
Employees are what keeps a business running. Without them, everything would come to a halt. Therefore, it is crucial that they are satisfied with their workplace. If they are, it will not only ensure good wellbeing but it will mean they can work to maximum productivity. That way, they love what they do and feel they are important at work — and do important work!
Here are five ways to make your your workplace more enjoyable and a fun place to be!
Team satisfaction spurs success, and you can take very good care of your workplace and inspire everyone to do more by keeping the work atmosphere a good spot. I recommend you to make work more enjoyable for employees. With the tips below, some elbow grease and a little bit of love, I’m sure you can create a productive workplace and improve business efficiency.
Tip #1: Encourage Flexible Working
In the work environment, being able to work flexibly is no long a special condition for some people in work. It has grown in popularity exponentially over the past couple of years and there are a number of reasons why all employers should look into it, other than the fact it will make workplaces more enjoyable.
The balance between an office job and personal life is a crucial factor in employee health.
Flexible working allows your employees to work around obligations and responsibilities outside of their job. Whether your employee is a caregiver, parent, or moonlighting, flexible work helps these individuals balance their work-life schedule better which reduces stress. For example, treating well to your staff to a happy hour on Friday afternoon (maybe at the local coffee shop) would give your workers a chance to breathe and relieve stress. This will also encourage employee relationships to thrive and create a healthier work atmosphere. Giving the workers something to look ahead for over the week will also inspire them and offer a greater sense of commitment to the organization.
There isn’t a magic formula which says the best work is achieved between the hours of 9am to 5pm.
In fact, if you ask any CEO they will often tell you their best work is done outside of these hours. Different people work better at different times and by allowing them to choose when they work, companies can see a significant boost in productivity. It’s not also possible to have free reign over choosing when to work but if an employee ask if they can start earlier in order to finish earlier, with a clear case about how they will get more done because of it, then it’s an argument worth listening to.
A flexible workplace realizes that how and when their employees work best will vary depending on their individual circumstances.
The important thing is that work gets done well, not that it gets done in a prescribed timeframe or environment. Employers that embrace flexible arrangements find that it’s excellent for talent acquisition and retaining top talent, while promoting a workplace culture built on trust and commitment. Plus, with more and more employees now expecting flex-working arrangements it’s no longer merely an option. Flexible working is now an essential business practice. According to a recent research, 63% of employees believe that the standard eight-hour day is on the way out. LinkedIn data now shows that women and Gen Z are more likely to apply to remote positions when job searching.
In addition to flexible working conditions optimizing the output of your employees there are a number of financial benefits to be gained from introducing flexible working.
Flexible time reduces the costs to your business associated with employee absenteeism, tardiness and sick leave. As Flexible working improves employee satisfaction and retention, the need to recruit new employees and the associated costs are diminished. Most importantly, flexible working arrangements are inexpensive to implement and offer a quick, measurable return on investment in the form of employee output. Overall, a flexible work environment is beneficial to both employers and employees. Employees have more freedom to work in an environment that is conducive to increasing their output and work rate, while employers can benefit from a happier and harder working workforce.
Tip #2: Say Thank You
Did you know that feeling unappreciated is the #1 reason why Americans quit their jobs? It’s true. So what can you do to ensure your team is being consistently recognized for their hard work? An essential aspect of a fun workplace culture is where people feel good about themselves and their work. While appreciating major accomplishments is necessary to increase employee morale, celebrating the small wins can be just as effective.
Meaningful work gets done when employees are happy and feel that they’ve met the expectations of reward.
To meet their expectations (besides the obvious employee needs like health care, safe working environment, financial stability), you have to show them that you notice their work, appreciate it and that it promotes the company’s mission. There are all sorts of ways to provide rewards, including praise, recognition, money, prizes, gift cards, celebratory meals, trophies and certificates of achievement. Be liberal with positive feedback and show gratitude when employees go above and beyond their normal duties and responsibilities.
Gratitude is strongly linked to personal wellbeing and happiness.
Being thankful is shown to make us more positive, more resilient and improve our relationships too. And while we are all brought up being taught to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’, in today’s fast-paced, hyper-connected and often flexible working world, it’s probably not said enough. People who regularly take time to notice and note the things they’re thankful for, experience more positive emotions, sleep better, and express more compassion and kindness toward others. That’s great for business and for us as individuals! Grateful people tend to have lower blood pressure, improved immunity, healthier hearts and better mental health. By focusing on the positives each day, our outlook on life, work and our problems generally start to improve.
Employees who don’t feel recognized also struggle to describe what makes their workplace great.
Recognition helps employees see that their company values them and their contributions to the success of their team and the company overall. This is particularly key when organizations grow or change. It helps employees build a sense of security in their value to the company, motivating them to continue great work. Regularly share news about how the company is striving to reach the mission, and explain how individual employee goals relate to that vision. For example, Global hotel chain Hilton provides managers an annual Recognition Calendar that features 365 no- and low-cost, easy-to-implement ideas for thanking employees.
Recognition in the workplace is a vital contributor to employee engagement and happiness.
Employees feel better and more secure when they get recognized at workplaces. Happy employees perform better and are more productive. Being appreciated at the workplace develops a feeling of expertise in employees that makes them happy. At many workplaces, simple warm greetings at the beginning and end of the working day are not focused on by the superiors. But these gestures create a positive environment, increase employee comfort and give them a fresh start for the day. Happy employees are more engaged than the employees who are competent but not happy in the business environment.
Tip #3: Make It Fun
Does the office have low, flickering lights and no natural light? Is it overall an oppressive environment? This can have a huge effect on your employees. If the physical appearance of your office space is depressing, your employees are going to feel depressed. Invest in high-quality lighting, give the walls a fresh coat of paint, set up plants throughout the office, and more. Make sure that whenever an employee has an issue with a piece of office furniture, such as a chair or desk, that it is fixed immediately.
You invest a big part of your time at the office, so it’s necessary not to hate your workplace.
Modern, forward-thinking businesses are creating state-of-the-art workplace environments setting the standard for the business and bringing everyone together with design and structure ideas like open areas, hot desk, collaborative workspaces, stylish furnishings, and bright colors. Such attributes make an environment where individuals feel more relaxed and confident using their office to the fullest possible potential. If you would like your staff to cherish to be at the workplace, please ensure you have a pleasant and engaging environment that is also beneficial to performance. You have to understand that your brand represents your workplace. Decorating as per your brand will allow your staff to remain in contact with it.
You want to build an environment that suits your culture.
Do you or your employees love music? Make a record player available and encourage staff to play their favorite tunes. Does your business thrive on creativity? The editors at Pixar work in huts instead of cubicles to keep their creative juices flowing. Consider extra fixes such as adding plants, letting in more light, painting the walls, arranging the cash wrap, removing clutter, or creating secure spaces for all employees. Get feedback from your staff about what sort of environment they’d like. Such minor changes can freshen up the workplace, particularly one where you spend plenty of time.
Decorating your office properly can completely change the way you work inside it — you’d feel more energized, motivated, and eager to get things done.
Here’s the thing: employees need a work space that is separate from home to maintain that all important work/life balance, but that doesn’t mean work can’t be cozy and homelike. Over the years, the relationship between workplace design and employee wellness has become increasingly popularized by employers. In fact, employers are using the workplace as a means to promote the health and wellbeing of an employee. Together with a well-built environment, wellness programs become even more effective to an individual’s health and satisfaction.
If a company is successful in making its employees feel at home, the chances of those employees not leaving the organization in the long run increases.
Work environments play a very important role in job satisfaction; a comfortable and satisfying workplace benefits both the employer and the employees. Making simple office fixes like changing the light bulbs to UV lighting, bringing nature into the workplace, or even renovating the break room all contribute to a relaxed, comfortable environment. This environment is one that is similar to the home and creates a positive atmosphere for happy, productive employees.
Tip #4: Break The Ice
It’s a fact: having friends at work just makes going into the office more fun. It helps create a sense that you and your colleagues are all “in this thing together.” Having ongoing fun events at a set cadence, gives your team the chance to connect with their coworkers on a more personal level. You can also do things like a Happy Hour once a month or half-day Fridays in the summer to hang out together. The magic of a summer beach day with the team cannot be overstated!
A working environment that runs on a fixed routine is a big recipe for disengagement.
A workplace culture that doesn’t actively work to make the staff excited to work is not a sign of a good culture. One of the simple and easy ways to make the workplace environment more enjoyable is celebrating fun office days. Office fun days are not days where no work gets done. Instead, office fun days are about taking a typical working day and making it into something interesting that perks up your employees’ workday. Such office fun days have the added advantage of being seen as a tradition in the workplace culture. Consequently, people feel proud and advocate the presence of such traditions in their organization.
We can make a positive work environment by adding some games.
An icebreaker game, is something done, or said, to relax the formal atmosphere of a situation. It’s a fun and imaginative way to improve team bonding and relationships. When we talk regarding making a successful meeting or conference, we also talk about the basics, including a clear purpose, a tasty meal, and preparation. Both of these are effective approaches, but don’t skip the serious warm-up. Icebreakers would release all your stress, break the nervousness and make conversation effective. When used properly, this initial breaking of the ice will leave teams content, enthused and trusting; promoting successful and strong teams.
Interaction is a necessary component of community building as well, and the use of an ice breaker, by the nature of how ice breakers work, results in a interaction between co-workers.
Even the few minutes an ice breaker might take, can illicit laughter, open dialogue, or stepping out of one’s comfort zone, and more importantly, it prevents a siloed work environment, which breeds dysfunction. On the surface, ice breakers may seem like a waste of time, but I assure you ice breakers bring value to the table and are worth the few minutes it takes to talk about which book co-workers are reading, which historical figure co-workers would like to talk with. Ice breakers are a mainstream communications tool, but using them effectively is as important as using them.
Creating a fun work environment can be as simple as hosting some friendly office challenges.
Not only will the team members have fun, but such fun activities promote a healthy dose of competition among team members. Such friendly contests have often been used to increase the engagement levels among the workforce. The process of winning such challenges is extremely fun and rewarding for people. Organizations take such fun activities to the next level by implementing gamification in the workplace culture. One example of gamification is using a leaderboard to see who are the top winners in contests such as a 10k walk challenge. In such scenarios, fun at work is the element that helps drives a motivated and happy workforce.
Tip #5: Freedom By Default
Micromanaging does the opposite of making your employees feel trusted — a key element of a successful employee-manager relationship. By definition, micromanaging is a management style whereby a manager closely observes or controls the work of subordinates or employees. The dangers of this style of management include trust being lost, employees become dependent, a high turnover of staff and the burnout of the person micromanaging.
Gone are the rigid thinking style days that reduced efficiency and couldn’t meet the new age challenges.
As workplaces continue to evolve, there arises a need to offer freedom to the employees. While setting clear expectations and fair boundaries, it is so important to give your teams the trust and freedom they deserve to ensure your workplace remains an enjoyable place to be. A popular style of management is called ‘Objective and Key Results (OKR)’. This is perfect for connecting a combination of company, team and personal goals which will, in turn, produce tangible results all while keeping team members and leaders working together in one, unified direction.
Creating a great workplace culture that is employee focused is hard — worthwhile and hard.
Creating a freedom-centric culture is also worthwhile. For example, when employees are given the freedom to work or solve a problem on their own, they are likely to think of a solution that is unique and involves their own thought process. This is their way of bringing an innovative solution to tackle the issue and the more the number of innovative solutions available, the better it is for the future. Diversity of thought leads to such ideas and only when the organization’s practices are supportive can it thrive. With a multigenerational workforce the freedom at work has become a business imperative. Organizations have now started realizing the value that many people attach to freedom. Curtailing it directly or indirectly, is not a solution. Creating a framework that identifies and defines freedom, with boundaries, is a challenging but essential task.
Micromanagement at the workplace is the worst thing that you can do to a team.
It shows a lack of freedom for the employees. This is the reason it is generally observed to be a negative and toxic style of managing teams and work. As a matter of fact, management gurus look at micromanagement as one of the potent factors for destroying team culture. Managers with this style of working are looked upon as the villains in the team. Micromanagement kills autonomy for team members. Employees start looking at a micromanager as someone who will find fault in their work, one way or the other. You cannot expect a team that does not trust you to go above and beyond expectations at work. In fact, it can lead to loss of motivation, productivity and eventually give rise to the worst case scenarios — employees leaving the job.
It’s no secret that how we feel at work is key to our performance. Feelings drive our behavior from within and account for about 90% of our motivation.
The last decade of research coupled with results from companies like Zappos using emotions to elevate performance has blown up the myth that emotions don’t matter! Ultimately, we all want to be masters of our own destiny. As Dan Pink shows in his book Drive, autonomy is a deep, intrinsic motivator. The freedom to do our own work, in our own way drives us to do more. We feel a sense of ownership as we strengthen our talents. We become motivated to expand as people and in our roles. And we find ways to improve how work is done. Feeling control fulfills our human need to see that we uniquely matter: our time matters, our choices matter, and our ideas matter.
The bottom line when it comes to an office is that it should make everyone feel comfortable. Part of this is your company’s culture and making sure the people you hire fit that culture. Another part, though, is listening to those people to hear what they want and need out of their work space. Do that your office will become one of the best around to work in.
Most of you spend a large chunk of your waking hours at the office, shouldn’t that time be enjoyable and fulfilling?
Build trust, incentivize wellness, appreciate employees and implement the other suggestions above to increase workplace happiness. If you invest in the time to make your workplace a more enjoyable place to be, you will see your employees become more motivated. After all, happy employees are loyal employees, and loyal employees are ones that will work hard to deliver on company objectives.
It is time to give up on the tiredness that can keep coming with work.
Be grateful, make others smile, and make everyone happy too. Do things that you and your employer find like, and try keeping in mind that as long as you feel good, you’ll be capable of making others happy too. So as long as it happens, everybody succeeds. You don’t have to spend a small fortune on luxurious perks to achieve this though. You just need to put yourself in the employees’ shoes and find out how you can enhance your workplace culture so it’s more favorable to productivity. Put in the time and hard work in the next few months, and you’ll begin to the realize the immense benefits of a happy workplace.
Your turn. What do you do at work that makes it a fun place to be?
Most people will spend one-third of their working lives at work. If you’re not having fun at work, you should definitely start looking for ways to change that. The five tips presented above are a good place to start. Live your best life by having fun at work. In what ways do you ensure that your employees have fun at work? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!
Digital Dandy. Hacker From Heart. Workaholic. Coding Artist. Self-made.