It may sound counterintuitive, but making your office more fun is a great way to increase productivity. People who are happy at work tend to get more done, and today’s employees—e specially millennials—want to be employed by companies that make work fun. A fun office improves company culture, and it helps workers feel more appreciated and motivated to do their jobs. Here are just a few ways that you can build a fun office environment and increase productivity.
People who have a “best friend” at work are seven times more engaged in their jobs than those who don’t, according to Vital Friends author, Tom Rath. Workplace friendships improve company culture and can lead to improved teamwork and higher levels of satisfaction. Encourage your employees to socialize and build relationships with each other, and your office will likely become more productive.
How can you encourage friendships? Schedule regular outings. Going out together as a team helps people form relationships outside of the office and is a great team-building exercise. Whether it’s a regular night out at the local bar, the occasional game of mini golf or bowling, or even an evening spent trying to free yourselves from an escape room, group outings are a great way to encourage friendships.
Decorate the Office
You and your employees spend a lot of time at work. Why not decorate it to make the time spent there a little more enjoyable? Decorate in accordance with your brand to create a workspace that is fun and inviting. Allow your team to decorate their cubicles or workspaces as they see fit (within reason, of course). A bit of decoration adds a lot of personality to a space and can make it feel a lot more fun.
If you aren’t sure how to decorate, make it a group effort. Encourage everyone to work together to create an office they love. This can help with encouraging friendships, too, by enabling people to work together toward the common goal of a more fun-looking office. You don’t even need to spend a lot of money on decorations. You can print many of your own using your inkjet printer and those ink cartridges that are hanging out in the supply closet.
Celebrate Small Victories
You don’t need to hit a major milestone or have a special occasion in order to celebrate. In fact, celebrating small victories makes work more fun and encourages workers to be more productive. Acknowledging progress as your team members work toward their goals makes them feel like they matter—and employees who feel like they matter are exponentially more productive than those who don’t.
Order in pizza for lunch when a colleague reaches the halfway point on a huge project. Buy everyone a round of beer after work at the end of a particularly stressful day to celebrate making it through. Give a shout-out to someone who has made progress toward a larger goal during your morning meeting. You could even use a little printer ink to print up an award. Taking the time to celebrate even the smallest victories shows that you are grateful for your employees and recognize their importance to your company.
Get a Canine Mascot
According to recent studies, having a dog at the office boosts productivity, lowers stress, and improves communication between co-workers. Research also indicates that having a canine co-worker helps bring teams closer together and enhances collaboration. How awesome is that?
Plan a day to visit a local shelter and pick out a furry friend. Let your new pup wander around the office during working hours, and encourage everyone to interact with it. You will quickly see your employees having more fun at work and enjoying their new four-legged friend. And, on those particularly stressful days, you’ll get to watch your dog melt away your team’s anxiety so they can get back to work.
Just about everyone has a hobby, but they are usually restricted to enjoying that hobby during their time off. Why not make the office a bit more fun by encouraging your team to partake in their favorite hobby during the workday? Set aside 15–30 minutes per day for your employees to knit, read, work on their novel, play a handheld video game, etc. It is an amazing way to relieve stress, and it creates an opportunity for the members of your team to bond over similar interests.
Have an Area for Games
Regular breaks help people stay motivated. Encourage your team to take breaks away from their desks by setting up an area for games. Set up a couple of tables, and have a few different quick board and card games for your employees to play. A pool table is another great option.
If the budget allows, you could even have a television and a gaming system. Having an area for games definitely adds to an office’s fun factor, and it provides an opportunity to escape from the stress of work for 10 minutes or so.
Make the Office Feel More Like Home
In many offices, cubicles have been replaced by open space, sofas, bean bag chairs, and plush carpets. By ditching the stuffy office setup and furniture, you can create a space that is homier. Working in a bean bag chair is way more fun than being trapped in a cubicle all day. If your team is having fun while working, they’re going to get a lot more done.
Work doesn’t have to be boring. In fact, the more fun you can make your office, the more productive your employees will be. By implementing any of the suggestions listed above, you can create a fun office environment that your employees will enjoy coming to each day.