Is your office a fun place to work? Do your employees feel excited about the prospect of coming into work every morning, or are they counting down the hours until 5 pm? As an employer, how your team feels about their jobs is largely your responsibility. The power to make meaningful changes to their work lives is in your hands, and you can use it to whatever end you see fit.
Perhaps you see the workplace merely as a location where people go to get important work done in exchange for money. Not a place to have fun and enjoy yourself. But this viewpoint is a thing of the past, and it may be time to upgrade your archaic world view. Most people spend eight hours a day at work, which for an average person, will equate to an enormous 14.5% of their entire lifetime. This is a considerable portion of an individual’s life, so it’s a tragedy when people spend their entire career hating their jobs and feeling miserable.
There is no rule saying that a job can’t be fun. Of course, footballers, movie stars, and global explorers probably have a good time, but most people can’t boast such exciting resumes. Working in an office is notoriously free of excitement, but that doesn’t mean it has to be boring. You can make your office a more fun place to work, and it’s not only your staff that will benefit from this. Employees that are happy and fulfilled in their jobs are proven to be more motivated and productive. As a result, they will work harder for your business, and your bottom line will benefit. It’s a win-win situation. Feeling positive about work will significantly improve their mental wellbeing, and an appealing work environment makes your company more likely to attract and retain the most talented workers. On the other hand, if your office is a pit of misery, your staff will be fighting to leave the minute a more attractive offer turns up.
It’s clear that it is in everyone’s interest to have a more fun and enjoyable workplace, but how do you make it a reality? Here are five tips to get you started on your journey towards employee wellbeing.
Breaks are crucial for productivity. Working hard only works up to a point, and after a certain time, you lose momentum and the quality of your work begins to suffer. Taking a brief respite can recharge your brain and get you back in the right mindset to focus on the job at hand. Many workers feel reluctant to take breaks outside of their lunch hour because they fear it makes them look lazy, but they should be seen as an integral part of the working process. Make it clear that you expect your team to take breaks regularly, whether that’s a trip to the coffee machine or a brief walk and a stretch outside. You could even dedicate a corner of your office to leisure activities. Purchase some board games, books, a television, or even a ping pong table. Show your employees that you care about their wellbeing and trust them to get their work done according to their own schedule.
Get the snacks in
Everyone loves a snack, and nothing will keep your staff happier than a dedicated cupboard full of tasty treats. It presents a conversation topic for everyone and can provide some fuel to help your team get through the last few hours of the day. Make sure you provide a mix of healthy snacks and indulgent treats so you can appeal to everyone. Be sure to take people’s unique dietary requirements into account as well.
Socialize outside of work
You don’t want an office full of coworkers. What you want is an office full of friends. When people spend this much time working in close proximity to each other, they should at least enjoy each other’s company. Getting on well with colleagues is the number one thing that will make people excited to go into work in the morning. And the best way to facilitate this is by organizing social events outside of work. This could be happy hour on a Friday evening, a board games night after work, or a paintballing session on a Saturday morning. Try to avoid excluding people by having a mix of different activities that don’t revolve too heavily around drinking. Some employees will have children or other commitments, so it’s a good idea to schedule activities at different times and days of the week.
Get an office dog
Animals are hugely beneficial for our happiness and mental health, so what better way to create a positive work environment than to get an office dog? You could either adopt a furry companion especially for the office or just allow staff to bring their pets into work. You will of course need to make sure that any pets are well-trained and that no one is allergic, but the benefits will be huge. Feeling stressed and burnt out from working on a difficult task? Take five minutes to sit and stroke a dog, and you’ll instantly feel a thousand times better.
Most offices celebrate Christmas, and someone will bring in cake when there’s a birthday, but that is usually where the festivities end. An excellent way to make your workplace more fun to use any excuse for celebrating. If someone has made a big sale or been given a promotion, share their victory with the team and get some treats in. When someone has a birthday, don’t just fob them off with a store-bought cake. Go all out and show them they are valued by decorating their desk with birthday greetings and custom balloons. Christmas is the big one, but try not to exclude people. Some employees might not celebrate Christmas, and put bigger emphasis on holidays such as Diwali or Hanukkah. Ask your team for feedback and use this to plan your office celebration calendar.
There are so many ways for employers to make their workplaces more fun and enjoyable, and these are only a few possible solutions. Make sure you ask your staff for feedback on what would make their work lives more positive and use this to make your decisions.
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