Personal reasoning behind socialization and work need to be separated, right? “Work is not supposed to be fun,” they said. “That is why it is called work,” they said. Surprisingly, that is not what the research says. Frankly, who wants to work in a workplace that is serious and uptight 24/7. Like me, most likely not many people. As business people, we have to disassociate the assumption that having fun in the workplace impacts negatively on employee performance. There is a time and a place for everything, and there are certain ways to go about lightening up the atmosphere to get more smiles on your employees’ faces while seeing positive results in their productivity.
What is this “fun,” and why is it so important?
In the most simplistic form, fun refers to socialization in the workplace. Show me the statistics you say? According to Greatist, The New York Times journalist, Oliver Burkeman, studied why employees find it so important to socialize at work. He states. “As people marry and have children later, those in their 20s and 30s may lack an established social structure outside the office.” Since work consumes most of the average person’s day, it is understandable that their coworkers become their second family and interaction becomes necessary.
Incorporating socialization also:
- Promotes optimism
- Promotes creativity
- Builds relationships
- Reduces Stress
Workplace fun should not:
- Offend anyone
- Be racist, sexist or vulgar in any way, shape or form
- Harm the company’s reputation
Where do I get this “fun” you speak of?
These are ideas circling around that companies use to open up the communication lines between employees:
- Create a Humor Bulletin Board
It is no secret that Mondays are usually not someone’s favorite day. Make it a point to gather cartoons, jokes and things of this sort on a board, so everyone can share giggles throughout the day. Update this board every Monday morning.
- Build a Wall of Fame
This can be a separate board in the break room, or just a designated area where all the employees have access to it. Decorate this space with thank-you notes written from one employee to another, awards to top performers or news about success in the company.
- Incorporate Games into the Break room
Putting a Foosball, ping-pong table or a Wii game is a great way to incorporate a little fun competition between employees.
- Casual Dress days
Most companies include casual Fridays because it is more universally accepted, but pick any day of the week in which employees can dress down from business casual. This is always appreciated by everyone.
Food is the way to everyone’s heart. Setting a date where everyone can bring food and eat together at lunch, will leave everyone happy and lift the atmosphere tremendously.
- Putting Music on
There are many companies who have a set time in which they play music. For instance, around 3 pm when everyone’s brain is starting to give in, they play music to wake everyone up.
There is a time and place for everything, but the office should not have to be serious and socialization deprived all the time.