Creating a happy and fun work environment is one of the most effective ways to increase productivity and creativity in an office. Tech juggernauts like Google and LinkedIn have fully embraced the “fun = productive” philosophy with great effect. Google is famous for decorating their offices with more than just cubicles. In their Mountain View headquarters, for example, Google gives employees free reign to rock climb, bowl or exercise whenever they need a break. It is Google’s approach to company culture, coupled with their record profits, that has many companies adopting a fun, active workplace.
Google’s rock wall and bowling alley aren’t just for show, however. “There is good evidence that if you allow employees to engage in something they want to do, (which) is playful, there are better outcomes in terms of productivity and motivation,” Dr. Stuart Brown of the National Institute for Play concludes.
So how can you make your workplace a bit more fun? Below are 5 inexpensive ways to foster a looser, more productive environment at your workplace.
Most of us spend 8 or more hours of our day at work. The last thing we want to do is to work in a dreary, dull environment. Allowing individual employees or departments to decorate their work spaces the way they see fit will not only help build morale but boost creativity as well.
2. Celebrate Small Wins
Strong employee morale plays a huge part in creating a fun, energetic work environment. One of the best ways to increase employee morale is to celebrate small wins. By showing your team that you appreciate their work, they will be happier, more productive and produce at a higher level. Attaching a physical award like this crystal award tower can also help increase employee morale.
3. Play Games
The workplace does not have to be all serious business all the time. As discussed in the intro, companies like Google have had a great deal of success allowing employees to play games like pool or bowling during working hours. Stepping away from your desk and having fun with coworkers can be just the jolt needed to foster new ideas and keep things loose and productive. A 7-in-1 desktop game set is a great item to add a bit of fun to your desk.
4. Encourage Friendships
Everybody wants to work with friendly people. Multiple studies have found that workers with a ‘best friend’ at work are magnitudes more likely to enjoy their job and produce at a higher level. Having friends to talk to can also help reduce stress across the board. Offering employees time to socialize during work, whether with games or breaks throughout the day, is an easy and cost-effective way to help workplace friendships grow naturally.
5. Provide ample break time
Breaks give our brains time to process information and recharge. More importantly, however, is that an unproductive break is more likely to decrease productivity than it is to boost productivity. As reported by the Harvard Business Review, the best way to re-energize yourself during the workday is to do work-related activities during your breaks. While this may seem counter intuitive, the HBR’s definition of work-related activities is a broad one. Activities such as socializing or playing a game with a coworker are generally accepted to be a work-related break activity that will boost productivity.
Fostering a fun work environment is one of the greatest ways to increase employee satisfaction, happiness and productivity. Go ahead and try one or two of the ideas mentioned above, who knows maybe you’ll even have a little bit of fun in the process!
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