It’s about 1:00 pm on a Friday as I step back into the office to the sound of foosball. Laughter is coming from the lunch room. Instructions to the latest board game are being explained, and friendly competitions are reignited.
In the quest for success, as in life, it is important to stop and enjoy the moments along the way. We spend a lot of our lives at work. When we bring play into our day, it can energize us and encourage us to give more of ourselves to tasks. Having fun doesn’t just have to be designated for after hours; why not bring it into the workplace, too?
A study by Bright Horizons revealed that 89% of employees with high levels of well-being reported high job satisfaction. Nearly two-thirds of those employees identified consistently putting in extra effort at work.
This isn’t surprising. What is surprising is that more leadership is not capitalizing on the economic value of fun.
Two years ago, we lost a key employee due to cancer. She was a wonderful person, who was not only good at her job but did much around the office for our staff, our culture and our morale. She grew vegetables for us, surprised us with catered lunches and took tea towels home to be washed. She was always there for us. Shortly after her passing, our corporate culture came off the tracks.
It has taken a while to get our mojo back. Leadership listened to our staff for input and engagement. We have made some changes and adapted and tried to ensure that all employees are not only good at their job but are a good cultural fit for our team. We want collaborative and innovative colleagues that reflect our values, and we wanted to bring back the fun to increase productivity.
See also: 3 Ways to Boost Agency Productivity
Here are a few ways you can bring more fun (and productivity) into the office:
1. Have lunch together
Nothing bonds people like sharing a meal, no matter the circumstances. A 20-year-old design firm in Berlin called Studio 7.5 has a rule that all its employees must have a meal together every single work day. The meal is shared on a communal table. This is proven to bond even the greatest of strangers, who will always open up and relax over a meal or drink.
If staff at my company aren’t playing a game, they’re often having lunch or stepping out for a walk. This goes a long way to balancing work and play as well as building relationships.
2. Decorate your office space
Whether you are a startup entrepreneur or a big technology firm, find ways to decorate your office space to promote a positive, collaborative corporate culture. Use colors that represent your brand, and design meeting rooms that support creative ideas and brainstorming. Whiteboard walls, digital media and comfortable lounge chairs will facilitate coming together to share and create.
If there is a holiday or event, get your team together and make decorating an activity. Take photos and share them on social media so that your team can celebrate the experiences they are making together outside of the daily grind. Baby and wedding showers, Christmas, Easter and even Valentine’s Day are opportunities to brighten up the office with decorations that everyone can enjoy. We have staff from all over the world and welcome celebrating their special holidays, too.
3. Hold staff events
Having a unique culture that makes your office stand out will promote staff members feeling like they are part of something bigger than themselves. Plan team-building events such as escape room games, rock climbing or a cooking class where teams can rely on each other to reach success and have fun doing it – we do!
Lunch-and-learns are another great way to have fun and advance knowledge of employees in areas they may not otherwise have access to. This shows employees you’re invested in their success, which can pay dividends in terms of employee loyalty.
4. Prioritize fun
With tight deadlines and tasks competing for attention, it’s not always easy to prioritize fun. Get events on the schedule and build excitement with emails and at staff meetings. Have veteran staff speak up about how much fun everyone will have at office events. Invest in an air hockey table, lounge space or a weekly game lunch. Getting everyone to relax and enjoy a little downtime during the day will be team builders in themselves.
See also: How to Make Insurance Fun
So get out, have fun and make memories together. They will be the glue that bonds you together during challenging times and makes you more likely to become successful as a company and a team.