Workplace Fun Friday Ideas to Increase Employee Motivation
Molly Hitchens studied business for years before launching her career as a journalist and analyst specializing in original and innovative business planning. She shares her expertise through her work with The Idea Trader as well as through in-person speaking engagements at universities around the country.
The office doesn’t have to always be a drab, dull environment. There are plenty of ways to make the workplace more fun and interesting while still maintaining professionalism.
An easy way to offer some easygoing vibes in the office is to set up Fun Fridays. Essentially, either once a week or once a month, the office will do something exciting and fun on a Friday, to help get everyone excited for the weekend.
Here are some workplace Fun Friday ideas to try in your office, pending the approval of the manager or supervisor, of course.
Discuss a few different ideas with everyone in the office to see which ideas stand out.
A longstanding tradition in many offices is to have lunch together on Fridays. You can either all gather in the break room or conference room or order from a local restaurant ahead of time.
Enjoying a meal together can be a great way for everyone to loosen up and have some fun conversations.
Beyond just being a fun time, sharing lunch every Friday can be a great way to encourage employee bonding and a sense of teamsmanship.
It’s also a great way to explore different kinds of food as a group.
If your office is especially health-conscious, try to seek out light and fresh lunch options near the office.
Having theme days at your place of work is another easy idea for Fun Fridays in the office.
We encourage you to collaborate with your co-workers to think of fun and low-cost themes to implement. But if you’re running short on ideas, we’ve listed a few common ideas below to spark your imagination.
A luau or summer vacation theme is easy to pull off and fun for everyone, especially during a time of year when it’s not especially warm or sunny outside.
It can be a good way to brighten the day of your fellow employees while also allowing for more casual and fun clothing than usual.
Encourage hibiscus flower shirts and flower necklaces. During lunch, order some Hawaiian food or BBQ from a local restaurant and play hula music.
Put together non-alcoholic cocktails for everyone to enjoy, and finish them off with fruit juice and little paper umbrellas.
Try to have a theme day based around a specific holiday that’s coming up soon. You should also try to avoid choosing a holiday that has religious associations.
But holidays based on historical events or secular events are acceptable and can be enjoyed by everyone.
Halloween is a great opportunity to let everyone in the office dress up, if they want. As long as the costumes are appropriate for the workplace, this can make for a fun day in the workplace.
You can even host a costume contest with simple prizes such as gift cards to nearby stores or restaurants.
If the Olympics are coming up, have everyone pick out winning countries for each event. You can even tune into the events during a lunch break.
These days, dipping back into the style and media of the 1980s is a fun way to indulge in nostalgia.
Allow for more casual attire, including plenty of neon, geometric shapes, and slatted sunglasses.
Best of all, if the office schedule allows for it, you can screen a favorite 80s movie in the break room over lunch or at the end of the workday.
If your office doesn’t allow for anything as elaborate as a theme day, then you can start to explore some more low-key options for a Fun Friday in the workplace.
An easy and simple idea is to let the entire office collaborate on a playlist of music. The only rule is that the music has to be appropriate for the workplace.
Then, each Friday, you can play through the playlist on a set of speakers from a central location in the office.
Throughout the day, everyone will get to hear their own favorite music, alongside some other songs that they may not have heard of before.
It’s a low-cost way to get everyone to participate in an office activity as well as a way for everyone to discover new music and start to get excited for the weekend ahead.
Another Fun Friday idea for the workplace is simply to allow for ways for employees to leave work a little bit early.
Of course, this option depends largely on the specific requirements of your workplace as well as corporate policies, if applicable.
But even if you only plan on letting employees leave about 30 minutes earlier than usual, your staff will appreciate the gesture and it will give everyone a chance to try and beat traffic to make their commute a little bit easier.
Letting employees dress down a bit every Friday is a time-honored tradition of the modern workplace.
It’s an effective idea that costs the company absolutely nothing and gives employees a chance to express themselves by wearing the kinds of clothes they like to wear on their downtime.
Once again, the only rule should be to choose outfits that are still appropriate for the workplace. But if you already have trust and respect for your employees, then it shouldn’t be a problem.
When it comes to making the workplace a little more fun on Fridays, or any day of the week, there’s an important balance to strike between loosening up restrictions and letting professionalism break down.
On the one hand, it’s a very good idea to give your employees small breaks from the monotony of everyday tasks and responsibilities. It can increase morale and help your staff stay motivated to finish their work on time.
But at the same time, you don’t want to make the office so loose and easygoing that productivity starts to drop.
Above all, expectations should be maintained. Work still needs to be finished, and everyone still needs to conduct themselves in a professional demeanor.
But as long as those requirements are being met, it’s fine to let your employees loosen up and have fun in the office every once in a while.
Try some of the ideas above and get to know your employees a little better.