“The idea of ‘fun’ and ‘play’ at work is becoming increasingly important to workers who want to be creative, committed and motivated. Fun at work can:
- Reduce absence
- Increase productivity
- Lower levels of stress” (BrightHR, 2016).
Per this study, it becomes obvious that fun at work can boost many aspects of productivity. However, it is still necessary to establish a work atmosphere in which your staff can operate effectively. How do you go about maintaining a balance between the two? Thankfully, fun and productivity are not mutually exclusive! In this blog post, strategies to create a fun, productive work environment will be examined, as well as why it’s so important.
Establishing a Company Culture
Opting to establish a company culture can make creating a fun, productive work environment easier from the start. By clarifying what you expect of new hires from the get-go, they will immediately be aware of expectations and how to conduct themselves at work. With time, you'll retain employees who are culturally compatible and who will fulfill your expectations naturally.
For example, here at Dexcomm, our company culture involves values of concern for others, compassion, and personal growth. To work here, we require that employees are truly concerned about our callers’ needs and that they are seeking to grow personally and professionally. By implementing our company culture in our hiring process, we have built a staff that not only has a genuine want to get the job done, but who also does so with ease. As a result, a lot of the would-be stress dissolves with a team that you can count on, leaving more room for fun. To learn more about the importance of company culture, click here.
Creating Space for Employees to be Themselves
No one likes having to “put on a face” when they clock in to work; it is crucial that employees can be themselves without feeling like they’re walking on eggshells. By allowing employees to be themselves, they can be more comfortable in the workspace. As a result, the likelihood that they will want to be involved and use their voice increases. Additionally, they’ll be able to pour more energy into their work than into fighting that feeling of being “boxed in” or bored.
When you open the door for employees to be themselves, it also gives you the advantage of witnessing their genuine strengths. This way, you’ll be able to put them in positions in which they can use their natural talents in the workplace. Create a space for employees to be themselves by:
- Encouraging employees to share their stories with you and with each other
- Listening to employees when they speak to you, despite how “small” the matter may seem to you initially
- Making yourself approachable/easy to talk to
Recognizing Important Occasions
Birthdays! Engagements! Graduations! These are all things that are worth a cake and some recognition; showing your employees that you care about these important life events is special! Not only are celebrations fun, but they also provide a window of opportunity for your team to better get to know each other and to boost morale.
These “parties” don’t have to be anything drastic or too time-consuming. For example, these events could be celebrated with balloons and a cake in the breakroom throughout the day. You could even pass around a card to be signed by all the other employees. The special/fun part is simply in recognizing this time for celebration in your employees’ lives.
As previously mentioned, fun at work can “reduce absence, increase productivity, [and] lower levels of stress” (BrightHR, 2016). It can also:
- Encourage your employees to be more involved
- Shed a light on your employees’ natural strengths
- Keep your employee retention rate higher
- Encourage team building
- Boost morale
If you want to have creative, happy employees, establishing a fun, productive work environment is highly recommended by Dexcomm. If you’re not quite convinced about having fun at work, check out this article that highlights more benefits of fun in the workplace!