In the process of doing business, many companies focus exclusively on output and profits often at the expense of fun and creativity. If your office feels stifled or negative, find ways to build a fun atmosphere, and improve employee morale and performance.
For busy managers, fun activities often seem like trivial distractions that serve no purpose other than to pull employees away from their work. In fact, the opposite is true. Research has shown that a fun office helps workers be more creative, facilitates teamwork and reduces the number of days that employees call in sick.
Office workers spend a significant percentage of their lives at the office. They see the same people and the same surroundings, day in and day out. Boosting fun and creativity can be as simple as changing the office environment. Add a lounge area with a sofa and chairs to give employees new working options. Instead of sketching or reading reports at their desks, they can curl up on the sofa. If your budget does not allow for new furniture, make an effort to hold meetings in varying locations to inspire creativity: at a coffee shop, in a library or even on a park bench. A small change of scenery can do wonders for employees who feel stifled by a corporate environment.
The workplace hierarchy plays a crucial role in the appropriate level of fun and creativity in an office. If the managers are stiff and overly formal, employees are likely to follow suit. To give your workers permission to have fun at work, encourage your managers to find their own ways to loosen up. They might joke around at the start of meetings, spend time chatting casually with employees or wear goofy ties – anything that helps them find the joy in their work. Managers can also boost fun by scheduling casual employee outings and planning regular breaks from work. Over time, employees follow suit.
Many employees work hard, only to find that their efforts go unrecognized. A lack of appreciation damages employee morale and drains the fun and creativity out of the office. After all, why should workers exert extra effort or find an innovative solution if it is not valued? Even when you are busy, it is crucial to recognize and celebrate your employees' big and small successes. Surprise your team by bringing in breakfast after the conclusion of a big project, or take a moment at a meeting to congratulate a worker for her patience in dealing with a particularly difficult client.
When you are trying to inject fun and creativity into your office, it is not necessary to conduct a time-consuming and expensive procedural overhaul. Small efforts can go a long way in improving the workplace culture and helping workers feel more inspired.
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