Most people don’t think about work being fun. They think of it as something they have to do. Those two thoughts don’t have to be mutually exclusive.
Creating a fun culture will keep your employees more engaged, so they’ll be excited to come to work and will stick around longer. It might seem like you should discourage fun to encourage productivity, but fun workplaces lead to happier, more productive employees.
How can you encourage your employees to have fun at work?
Show Off Your Personalities
Encourage your employees to be the same people at work and at home. If they’re not “suit and tie people,” implement a more laidback dress code so everyone feels more comfortable and like themselves. Encourage your employees to decorate their desks however they want so that it’s their “home away from home.”
When your employees can really be themselves, they’ll connect better with their coworkers and have more fun at work.
Get Out of the Office
Take your employees out of the office sometimes. Host a monthly happy hour or lunch (somewhere other than the breakroom). When your employees have the chance to socialize outside the office, they’ll have more fun and be more relaxed getting to know each other. They’ll start to build friendships, which will encourage collaboration and teamwork inside the office.
A lot of companies have developed a culture where everyone is expected to work as long and hard as possible. People assume that working for 12 hours nonstop is more productive than working for 8 hours with a few breaks. Taking breaks is important for productivity because they give you and your employees a chance to decompress and reenergize.
Encourage your employees to take a break every couple of hours and set up a breakroom with things to keep their mind off work for a few minutes – coffee, snacks, a TV, games, etc. Make sure that you’re setting an example and taking breaks, too.
You might already have some method in place for celebrating achievements – like raises, promotions, and bonuses – but none of those are public celebrations.
When someone hits a major goal or your company reaches a new milestone, throw a little party. Your employees will see the rewards of their hard work and feel good about reaching their goals, while socializing and building friendships.
Your employees will start to look for new projects that actively contribute to the company’s goals to have more celebrations.
When your employees have a better work-life balance, they’ll be more focused and productive at work. Be flexible. Offer work-from-home days and flexible schedules so your employees can take care of their personal life when they have to. As long as the work is getting done, it doesn’t matter where or when it happens.