February 19, 2023 by Andrea Rajic
Table of contents
With HR specialists shifting their focus toward creating healthy work environments and positive company cultures, job satisfaction has become a top priority for many employers. Numerous studies show that “job satisfaction is a reliable and relevant predictor of employee retention”, meaning that boosting employee happiness should be a part of your talent retention strategy.
One way to boost employee happiness is to create a fun environment for your workers to do their best work. Learn about the biggest benefits of encouraging your employees to have fun while working and get inspired on how to implement fun activities in your workdays, whether you’re in a virtual or physical workspace.
Having fun while doing the work doesn’t mean your employees won’t get the job done. In fact, the fun will help them complete their tasks with more enthusiasm and motivation. Here are the main benefits of fun in the workplace.
Happiness can boost productivity—and this isn’t some vague claim but a scientifically proven fact. A study that included 700 participants confirmed that, after watching a series of funny clips or getting a refreshment, some workers experienced a boost in productivity by up to 20%.
Carefully thought-out fun activities (anything from ping pong to virtual trivia quizzes during break) sprinkled throughout your team’s week can ensure a consistent increase in their productivity and improvement in their performance.
Laughter decreases stress hormones and helps release happy ones, like endorphins. This makes us feel good but also brings us closer together with other people. When your team members have fun at the office and share a laugh, it helps them build better interpersonal relationships and improve collaboration.
Implementing fun into your work culture can be particularly useful for fostering connections in remote teams since they don’t have many opportunities for meeting up and spending time together in person.
Great Places to Work traditionally publishes an annual list of the 100 best places to work. Most companies on this list are described as fun work environments, proving that a positive workplace atmosphere is a vital factor for happy employees, along with trust, camaraderie, and respect, among other values.
In fun workplaces, absenteeism rates are lower because employees feel more motivated to show up every day and do their best. This has a positive impact on teamwork and productivity and contributes to higher employee engagement and retention.
Employees who have fun while working feel more motivated, relaxed, and connected with the rest of the team and experience less stress at the workplace. Lower stress levels and the opportunity to approach tasks and challenges more mindfully contribute to better overall employee wellness.
With employee well-being strategies becoming essential for HR teams worldwide, making fun a vital part of your workday seems like a simple way to have happy workers.
Science says extrinsic motivation is never as powerful as intrinsic one: salary raises, titles, and status can’t improve employee performance as much as you think. However, employees who enjoy their job are much more likely to have better outcomes.
If your goal is to build a healthy work environment and create the ultimate employee experience, think about scheduling time for fun—every day. We’re sharing eight ideas on how you can get started.
Gamification in workforce management is becoming a thing: it refers to adding game-like elements to daily tasks, making them more interesting and engaging. Through gamification, you can create team-level or even company-wide challenges to boost employee engagement and increase workplace happiness.
A few examples of gamification include, for example, challenging a team to resolve a specific number of tickets within a designated timeframe or adding a timed quiz after a presentation or an e-course within employee training.
The activity you’ll choose depends on several factors, like whether your team is hybrid, office-based, or remote, team size, job descriptions, etc. You can also spice up the challenge by making it competitive and rewarding those who complete the task (first).
Whether a virtual or a hybrid meeting, there are always a few minutes in the beginning while people are still joining, and you’re not ready to dive into the agenda. And neither should you—those first moments can be used to set a positive tone for the rest of the meeting and create a friendly atmosphere.
Icebreaker games and activities like the question of the week or two truths and a lie will help the participants relax, help team members get to know each other, and prompt them to be more engaged in the meeting.
If you’re not feeling inspired, feel free to steal an activity from our list of 35+ cool icebreaker ideas for different types of meetings.
Your team is likely connected on social media, especially if they’ve been working together for a long time. If your team is up for it, you can use these platforms to engage in fun activities that can, at the same time, help build a positive online image of your company.
For example, if your team uses LinkedIn, you can ask them to share a public shoutout to their co-worker who helped them with a complex project. You can play online games during lunch break or simply have your teammates send each other funny memes and videos for their daily dose of laughter. You can have an employee take over your social media accounts for the day and go live from the office or home to showcase their workday.
Before you carry out these activities, you should set some ground rules about what should and shouldn’t be posted or said online.
Celebrating even the smallest wins can be fun and make people feel good. Celebratory drinks, some music, 30 minutes of casual chat, and giving kudos can have an incredibly positive impact on your team’s morale and performance.
Come up with a tradition for each event you think you should celebrate: an employee’s birthday, work anniversary, an important job-related milestone, an employee’s kid’s birthday, or recovery from an illness. Make sure these celebrations are flexible, so people can participate both remotely and in person, depending on where you’re organizing the event.
Sports, board games, virtual escape rooms, book clubs, watching a new episode of your favorite TV show together... All these serve as relaxing team-building activities and ensure your employees are having fun throughout their workday.
The best thing about these activities is that you can organize them both for hybrid and fully remote teams, as long as you figure out the best time zone.
Other than location flexibility, flexible working hours are the most desired perks in modern workplaces, so encouraging your team to take a break and engage in leisure activities between tasks can significantly boost engagement, energy, and employee satisfaction.
Over 60% of participants in a study feel like they’ve been missing opportunities to connect with their co-workers during meetings. For them, meetings are no more than status report chats and work talks, but it doesn’t have to be this way.
Other than starting your meetings with icebreakers and organizing regular team-building events, you can have themed meetings to make them more fun. At least once a month, come up with a topic (it could also be something that’s trending at the moment") and prepare activities related to it or ask your team to dress for the occasion.
For example, you can ask your team to dress like their favorite Superbowl halftime show, have a gala night, or create a trivia quiz related to a TV show you’ve all watched. If you’re meeting up in a co-working space, bring your favorite snack or pretend you’re hosting a talk show.
If your team is hybrid, chances are your team members are distributed across several countries. That’s a perfect opportunity to get to know different cultures in a fun way, showing your appreciation for diversity at the same time.
Bring fun to work by organizing multicultural happy hours during which different team members will present their country through food and drinks. If you’re doing this virtually, you can have an online cooking class where one team member will teach the others to prepare a traditional meal. In hybrid teams, you can organize this activity on-site and have multiple teams cook together in several locations or go to restaurants for a meal.
Teams that solve problems together, stay together. Problem-solving activities help teams understand how each role fits into the high-level team dynamic and identify the best way to operate together. Sometimes, it’s even more beneficial to have teams meet up in person to boost collaboration and connect.
The key is to prompt teams to brainstorm and work together to develop a strategy or a solution for a problem. You can divide your team into pairs or smaller teams and assign them a specific task for which they need to find a solution and later present it to the rest of the team.
You can incentivize your employees by turning the session into a contest, where the winning team gets an extra-long break or a similar reward.
Get inspired and choose the best meeting space for your next team gathering.
Having fun at work increases employee satisfaction and enables your team to work in a positive atmosphere without stress. Contrary to the popular belief that fun at the workplace means workers don’t approach their responsibilities seriously, research has shown that a daily dose of fun activities and laughter improve productivity and help teams connect.
One way to achieve that is to enable teams to meet up even in locations where you don’t have your own office. Gable helps such teams find, book, and manage ideal flexible workspaces where teamwork thrives and employees bond.
Learn more about how we can help find the perfect spot for your team to work together—with no upfront costs and with a customized plan that fits your business.
Foster connections in your remote team
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