Does your workplace have the “fun” factor?

When people are having fun, not only are they contributing to their own health and well-being – they are also in a better position to contribute more to their focus on the job. Melissa Armstrong writes for HC Online that there are significant benefits for companies who embrace the ‘fun factor’.

Armstrong writes that “According to Dr David Abramis, a psychologist with over thirty years of organizational research, people who enjoy themselves at work tend to have more positive relationships with co-workers, and are overall more productive in their work output”

“The neurological benefits of fun on brain and body are powerful too. When people are having fun, their brains are more likely to be in a ‘reward’ state. This positive mindset programs the human brain to be more open to opportunities, change and collaboration; and less restricted by fear and stress.”

Armstrong continues, “In addition to these individual benefits, there is a range of evidence supporting the positive impact that fun has on organizational performance. According to Fortune’s ‘Top 100 Best Companies to Work For’ data, companies that consistently score higher in the ‘fun place to work’ category also outperform their peers for financial returns and low employee turnover.”

“Companies that focus on fun also appear to have higher levels of employee engagement, which is critical for driving discretionary effort and performance. Flight Centre Travel Group, widely known for its commitment to fun and celebration in the workplace (including global balls, employee benefits and incentive models), boasts an employee engagement rate of almost three times the Australian average.”

“Given the evidence linking the positive impact of enjoyment on performance, it seems foolish not to leverage the benefits of fun at work. But before you run off to install a slip-and-slide in your office – let’s first take a moment to consider what ‘fun’ at work really means. And does it hold the same meaning for every employee and company?”

Is ‘Fun’ For Everyone? 
“It’s true that the definition of fun can be very subjective – in a study by BrightHR, employee descriptions of ‘fun’ at work ranged from having regular social activities to having the ability to clock-off at a reasonable hour.”

“In addition to this, the study also found that social demographics like age and gender also had a significant impact on employee’s perception of the value of fun at work. Analysis showed that Gen-Y employees value having fun at work more so than older generations, and that 55% of women believed that workplace fun would have a positive impact on work performance, versus 45% of men.”

“Given these nuances, it is important to give consideration to the social culture of your office when planning your ‘fun strategy’. Every organization should draw upon their own unique culture when considering fun at work.”

How To Inject The Fun Factor Into Your Workplace

Here are a few Ideas to set your organization on the right path:

  • Choose ‘fun’ as the tone of your workplace – By showcasing the benefits and leading the way, others will be sure to follow!

  • Get others involved – Once fun is seen to be acceptable at work, most employees are quick to add their own flair. Bring them on board and share the load!

  • Be appropriate – Not every kind of fun suits every workplace or team member. Different people value different kinds of fun – and not everyone wants to play laser tag for example!

  • Start small – remember, you don’t need a slip-and-slide or throw a big office party to have fun – sometimes it’s the smaller investments that deliver priceless results.

“There’s something truly wonderful about an organization that has the ability to see happy and laughing employees as good, productive and loyal employees. And at the very least, better performance driving healthy profits will have organizations smiling too!”

Five “Fun Ideas” for the Workplace 

  1. ‘Dress down day’ – Casual dress days are an easy and popular way to add some variety into a work week, and show value for employees’ comfort. You could even link this day to a ‘gold coin donation’ to fund-raise for charity.

  2. ‘Games Corner’ – If you have the space in your office, introducing a games corner is a great way to encourage play and interaction within the workplace. Invest in a pool or ping pong table, embrace some retro fun with some arcade pinball machines, or even some board game favorites like chess and scrabble will do the trick!

  3. ‘Fun Fitness’ – Combining health and fun is a great way to boost morale while contributing to the well-being of your team. Incorporating walking meetings, group fitness classes, or mindfulness breaks will get your workplace buzzing with fun and fitness!

  4. ‘Bake Off’ – If your workplace has a sweet tooth, why not organize a bake off? Invite your best bakers to show off their skills for a prize – or donate proceeds to charity for an extra warm and fuzzy feeling!

  5. ‘Office Parties/Night Out’ – Creating an opportunity to socialize out of the workplace, is a great way to build relationships between co-workers. After all, we often spend more time with our colleagues than our friends or family. How well do you know the people you work with?

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