“All fun and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”
~Jack Torrance (Caretaker of the Overlook Hotel)
Fun isn’t always a word we use to describe the workplace. Often work and play are seen as two separate entities with little to no overlap. But with attitudes changing and more millennials entering the workforce, more companies are placing an emphasis on employee satisfaction and striving to create a fun place to work.
Why is Workplace Fun Important?
According to Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, “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.”
Simply put, happy employees are productive employees. When people are relaxed and laugh more, it tends to translate into a positive mental attitude. This allows them to think more clearly, makes them more engaged and can boost creativity. In turn, they work more efficiently and effectively.
Less Employee Absenteeism
Information from On Rec’s website found that creating a fun place to work also lowers the number of days employees take off due to sickness and injury. In fact, a study found that, “62 percent of employees who had had no sick days in the last three months report having had fun at work. Furthermore, 58 percent of those who had not experienced workplace fun had been off sick for 11 or more days, compared to 42 percent of those who had.”
The bottom line is that shaking things up and encouraging your employees to cut loose can have a noticeable impact on your workplace. If you need proof, just consider that some of the most successful companies like Google, Apple and Facebook all place an emphasis on creating a fun culture.
How to Make Your Business a Fun Place to Work
Now that we’ve established that seriousness is overrated, here are some specific ways to make things more fun and exciting.
- Set up a lounge – You might offer a ping pong table, foosball table, video games or other activities that give your employees a chance to relax and talk about something else other than work. Not only can this relieve stress, it will often create team synergy.
- Add some playful decor – If your company looks way too corporate and Spartan, spice it up with some funky designs, action figures, nerf basketball hoops, etc.
- Bring in an office pet – This can be a big hit with animal lovers.
- Offer hobby breaks – Allow your employees to devote a small block of time to their favorite hobby. This will allow them to unwind and recharge their batteries.
- Casual Fridays – Okay, this concept may be a bit cliche’, but it can definitely be effective for lightening the mood.
When you look at the clear benefits of fun in the workplace and the impact it’s had on successful companies, it’s easy to see why having a strong “play ethic” is just as important as working hard. By experimenting with a few different possibilities, you should be able to make your business a fun place to work and keep your employees happy.