How to Make Work Fun for Employees: An Idea Trader Guide
Joey McDowell is an experienced writer and editor originally from the Dallas area. A firm believer in a well-balanced lifestyle, Joey applies this forward-thinking approach as the editor-in-chief of The Idea Trader. He travels extensively to find compelling stories and insightful individuals.
All Work and No Play …
Those famous words still ring true today. Taking a brief break from work responsibilities can, in the long run, contribute to e healthier office atmosphere.
More importantly, your employees will be less likely to dread coming into the office almost every day of the week.
It may seem counterproductive at first to put any real effort into making the office a fun environment, but your employees are sure to appreciate it, and you will too.
Below you’ll find our guide on how to make work fun for employees. Best of all, many of these suggestions are relatively low-cost and so won't hurt the company’s bottom line.
Start a Suggestion Box
Creating a permanent suggestion box in the workplace is a great way to signal to your employees that you want to keep the lines of communication open on an ongoing basis.
Also, be sure to make it clear to your staff that you’re open to taking suggestions for fun things everyone in the office can do throughout the month or the week to loosen up a little bit and get to know each other better.
Your employees will slowly start to feel that their voices matter, and they’ll feel like a larger part of the workplace as a whole.
Best of all, this idea costs absolutely nothing to implement. Just set out a small box in a public area of the office (perhaps a break room or the entryway) and check it every so often for new suggestions and ideas.
Reinstate Casual Fridays
Allowing for casual Fridays depends largely on your company’s specific policies when it comes to uniforms and dress code.
If you are able to offer casual Fridays to your employees, even if it’s just once a month, make it clear that there are still several guidelines to consider when putting together an outfit.
The clothing should still be professional and certainly not overly revealing, either. Jeans are a safe bet, along with more casual shoes like trainers or open-toed footwear.
For guidelines, check out our article on business professional options for men.
Make any adjustments to the rules as needed. Hopefully, casual Fridays will become something that your staff looks forward to.
In more comfortable clothes, you’ll notice that the collective mood and morale tends to increase. Employees may even be more likely to work through their lunch break or offer up creative ideas during a meeting.
Make the Office More Comfortable
There’s a reason that offices tend to feel a little stiff and sterile. For one thing, companies don’t want to spend too much money on interior design for an office.
But it also has a lot to do with sending a subtle signal to employees that this is a place of business, not a place for casual efforts and relaxation.
However, as we’ve seen in tech environments in Silicon Valley, one modern prevailing notion is that it’s possible to strike a balance between those two worlds.
It is indeed possible to create a relaxed environment that still places an emphasis on the importance of getting work done in a timely and efficient manner.
The break room is a great place to start. Consider ordering a couple comfortable chairs that sit low to the ground. They’ll offer a great break from upright office chairs.
Over time, these break spaces may even become a popular area for work-related activities like brainstorming.
Have an Office-Wide Lunch Once a Month
Eating lunch together is an easy way to contribute positively to a sense of camaraderie between employees and management.
You don’t even have to buy lunch on the company dime. Just ask everyone to agree on a restaurant to order from and collect payment from each person for their specific order.
Most importantly, once the food arrives, have everyone gather in the same area and eat at the same time.
The lunch may take a bit longer than a typical lunch break, but you’ll quickly notice that your staff will look forward to this shared event and talk freely about their personal hobbies and upcoming vacations, etc.
This can also be a good way to encourage better attendance from the staff. If you're looking for more ideas on encouraging better attendance, cehck out our article with some tips and ideas.
Another simple suggestion is to implement some company-sanctioned events outside of the typical workplace.
Organize a group charity event or a simple bar night, most likely on a weekend or a Friday.
Letting everyone interact and spend casual, carefree time together outside of the office has major advantages in terms of making connections between employees and increasing productivity in the future.
Provide Brainstorming Breaks
If a specific project is still in the early planning stages, then let the assigned team gather in a conference room or break room during a specific time of day.
Then allow them to just sit and kick around new ideas for the project with each other. It may not look like work at first, but this kind of personal and casual ideation is one of the best ways to come up with innovative new ideas.
And once again, this method doesn’t cost anything at all. It can be enacted at just about any time, and your employees will feel better prepared to tackle the practical steps later in the process.
Offer Snacks and Refreshments
If your office doesn’t already do so, consider offering small snacks and beverages in the company kitchen or break room.
They could be as small as packs of crackers and bagels or you could even order fresh fruit and vegetables on a regular basis to provide your employees with a healthy snacking option.
Aside from coffee, also order some herbal teas and other non-caffeinated options for anyone looking to stay away from stronger drinks.
Ultimately, the ways you make your office more fun and relaxing for employees is up to you. You know best what your staff likes and what tends to motivate them the most.
Take a small brainstorm session for yourself to come up with some additional low-cost ideas for ways to make your employees happier in general, which in turn will make them happier to complete extra tasks and adhere to strict deadlines.