Nearly 60% of graduates from 2015 say that they would rather work for a company with a “positive social atmosphere” — even if that meant making a lower salary! It seems that “fun” has become an essential part of successful offices. Employees are now interested in working for companies where humor, team bonding, and creativity are appreciated.
But creating a “fun” office environment isn’t just about attracting employees. It’s also about improving overall productivity. One study by the Social Market Foundation at the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy supports this. It found that employees who were provided with “fun” amenities (like refreshments and funny video clips) were between 12% and 20% more productive than other employees.
That’s why it’s time to ditch the idea that work can’t be fun. Here are our top 4 suggestions for transforming your workplace into a more exciting environment.
Create Special Occasions.
Something is exciting about a day that’s out of the ordinary. Yes, you have the usual buzz around holidays (even minor ones), and your staff may be extra energetic about festivities. As a business owner, you should absolutely capitalize on that by providing fun holiday activities for your employees.
But you don’t have to wait for a holiday to create a special occasion for your staff. That can be done any time of year. All you have to do is get a little creative. What about “bring your kid to work” day, Taco Tuesday, or casual Fridays? It’s the little things that will make ordinary days fun for your staff and keep them engaged with your business.
Promote Team Bonding.
A company is only as strong as its weakest team. That’s why your staff needs time to get to know the people they work closely with and form relationships. This promotes better social cohesion and stronger company culture, which helps you attract and retain excellent employees.
Beyond just creating a better company culture, positive teams have been shown to be much more productive overall. An article from the Journal of Applied Behavioral Science found that “virtuous” behavior produced better workplace outcomes. This means employees were supportive of each other, among other things. So, when you’re investing in your teams’ culture, you’re also investing in your business’s success.
Spice It Up With Spontaneous Surprises.
Beyond planning special events for your staff, it’s also worthwhile to work some fun surprises into the mix. For example, you might surprise your employees with catered lunch on a day they aren’t expecting it. You could leave a small gift on their desk in the morning. Maybe even schedule an impromptu meeting to give the staff a chance to enjoy refreshments and engage with each other for an hour or so. These small gestures and surprises will delight your employees and keep them excited and invested.
Embrace The Silly.
Humor is an easy, inexpensive tool you can use to make a company culture more fun. In fact, one study by Bell Leadership found that the top 2 most important leadership traits were a strong work ethic and a good sense of humor. Workplace humor has also been shown to improve team bonding, reduce stress, and encourage honesty among other benefits.
Of course, rude or inappropriate joking should not be encouraged or allowed in the workplace. But good-natured joking is great so long as everyone involved gets a laugh and it doesn’t interfere with the overall productivity of the staff. This is a great way to facilitate team members getting to know each other in a fun way. It will also help improve the overall company culture of your business.
By making a few small changes to your business, you too can create a more engaging work environment. It’s sure to attract quality employees for years to come, too. You just need to show your appreciation, encourage interpersonal relationships, and embrace fun.