Most of us spend at least half of our waking hours at work, so why not make it fun? In fact, research has shown that creating a feeling of optimism and happiness at work can improve employee performance. A survey of HR managers showed that the majority encourages fun at work because they believe it benefits both the individual and the organization.
In honor of this week’s National Have Fun at Work Day, we’d like to propose three tips for creating a fun office environment.
When hiring, look for cultural fit
Your workplace is more likely to be fun, if the people who work there enjoy each other and feel comfortable being themselves. While workplaces have to keep a level of professionalism, employees are more engaged when they feel they can bring their whole selves to work.
This begins during the hiring process. Look for candidates who have the skills you want and fit into your office culture. For example, if you have a talkative, boisterous office, a person who prefers to work in a quiet environment might not feel he or she can fully engage with the team. Likewise, a very outgoing person might not be a fit in a workplace where most people’s idea of fun is something more laid-back.
Let employees relax during work hours by planning gatherings at the office. Having an event during work sets the tone that it’s healthy to take breaks and enjoy each other’s company. And you’ll likely increase your productivity when you return to work. Many workplaces make these events holiday-themed, and the more creative the better. Host a candy swap on Valentine’s Day or in honor of Pi Day (March 14) invite coworkers to bake their favorite pies.
Of course, there’s a fine line between forced socializing and real fun, so make sure your employees know these events aren’t mandatory.
Allow time and space for unscheduled fun
A fun office is a relaxed office. It’s a place where coworker can take a few minutes to catch up on the latest episode of “The Bachelor” or “Game of Thrones.” Managers can set the tone by engaging in these conversations, and by providing places for employees to do so.
How do you create a fun environment at your workplace? Tell us in the comments.