What’s the first thing you feel when you get out of bed? Do you dread the day ahead. Are you already stressed out just thinking about what lies ahead? Do you wish you were doing anything else besides going to work? Or…… do you feel a rush of excitement. Is there a sense of enthusiasm because you just know that today is going to be a good day. Unfortunately, many people feel the former rather than the latter. It doesn’t have to be that way though.

All work and no play keeps good employees away. You spend over a third of your life, if not more, at work. That’s a long time if you’re not enjoying yourself. We’re not trying to tell you that you need to turn your workspace into a fraternity house. What we are telling you is that a fun workplace creates happier more satisfied employees. Happy employees are more productive employees. Satisfied employees are healthier. Employees who have  fun at work communicate better. Fun breeds creativity, and creativity often sharpens problem solving skills. Promoting a fun working environment draws an audience. Everybody wants to have fun – including potential clients.

The word “fun” can be scary to bosses because it can be defined as just messing around and not contributing to daily work activities. This couldn’t be further from the truth, but you have to find the right balance. A cohesive team that wants to work together might be one of the most important culture traits a company can have. Do you achieve this without a little fun…..doubtful.

So what are some ways to have fun at work?

  • Have a pizza party. This is an easy one because who doesn’t like pizza? Maybe, under the rarest of circumstances, people don’t like pizza – cater something they do want. But eating isn’t fun??? Uhh, yes it is!!!
  • Create an office environment that distracts people from the daily grind. Make it colorful. Add greenery. Get some funky furniture that reminds people that they want to be there.
  • Relax the dress code. There are always times that business attire is necessary for certain events. That’s not everyday. Let people wear whatever they want – within reason obviously. A comfortable employee is a happy and productive employee.
  • Play harmless pranks. Everyone likes a good prank. It gets people laughing and always leads to retaliation. The key word here is harmless.
  • Dedicate one room as a “fun lounge.” Include a pool table, dart board, foosball table or maybe even table tennis. It doesn’t matter what is in your lounge as long as it provides an escape from the dullness of a regular office.
  • Take time to celebrate success. There is no satisfaction if your company has a big win and just moves on to the next project. Let the employees choose the celebration – they will appreciate it even more.
  • Create friendly competitions. Everybody has a competitive fire, especially if there are prizes on the line. It is pretty astonishing how a little friendly competition can lighten the mood.
  • Create meetings people look forward to attending. Just because meetings are essential doesn’t mean they have to suck.

Bottom line – having fun at work improves teamwork, increases employee retention and allows employees to cope with daily stressors that come with everyday life. You’ve heard “work hard play hard” a million times in your career. Don’t create a culture that just talks the talk. If you wouldn’t recommend your place of employment to a friend, then why are you there?