How to Make Your Workplace Office More Fun
So everyone on your team agrees that work would be a heck of a lot better if there was just a little bit more fun every day. And you know the stats. Adding more humor and fun to your office leads to: lower absenteeism rates, lower employee turnover rates, less employee burnout, less stress, less conflict, more innovation, better communication…the list goes on and on. But you just don’t know where to start.
Here are some ideas to get the creative juices flowing…
- Create a Rotating Corporate Jester Position: Someone who takes on the role of the “fun coordinator” for a period of three months. And no, you can’t outsource your culture or fun to one individual, but assigning someone to this role can help spark momentum and rotating the position around your team ensures no one gets burned out and there are fresh ideas and new perspectives brought to the role every three months.
- Add More Fun to Your Meetings: Meetings should help build your culture and meetings should reflect your culture – so it’s critical that you set the right tone during your meetings and look for ways to embrace more fun, whether it’s brainstorming fun topics, creating a fun meeting space, or opening your meetings with a fun icebreaker. Studies show that meetings that are fun tend to be more open and honest, and far more creative.
- Start a Humor Library: Stockpile it with funny books and/or books about the importance of having fun at work. (May we suggest an excellent book? The Humor Advantage: Why Some Businesses Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank makes the ideal starter book!)
- Create Traditions and Rituals: Great workplace cultures are built through strong rituals and traditions. Rituals and traditions give everyone something to look forward to, something to reminisce about, and they foster a sense of shared history that is critical in building a strong team. Start with something simple: A team huddle Monday morning, a Friday afternoon huddle to share the top three wins of the week, M & M Mondays, or High Five Thursdays.
- Start a Humor File or Humor Book: Encourage employees to contribute to an on-going humor collection in whatever form makes the most sense, and collect everything including everything from funny workplace bloopers to funny customer questions to accidentally funny newspaper headlines or signs, such as, Today Only: Pants Half Off!
- Create a Humor Bulletin Board: A fun space for everyone to post their funny photos, funny quotes, top-10 lists, or favorite newspaper comic.
- Create a Quote of the Day Board: Post a funny deep thought or quote of the day on a board everyone can see as they enter the office.
- Create a Humor First Aid Kit: Stockpile it with funny props that people can access when facing a “serious emergency” – as in, they’re getting a little too serious!
- Name Tag Day: Every Friday have everyone wear one of those “Hello My Name is…” name tags with a different theme each week; one week you might have everyone write down their favourite food, the next week the city they were born in, the following week their middle name…etc.
- Create a Social Calendar: Create a social calendar that lists everyone’s birthday, workplace anniversary date, holidays, and social functions for the year.
- Hold a Stupid Human Tricks Contest: Come on, you know you want to…make it a twice-a-year thing.
- Participate in a Charity Event: Community charity events can be loads of fun, plus they make great bonding experiences, all while doing something good – what’s not to love?!
- Create Fun Awards: Spoof the Oscars, make it a true celebration, and hand out fun awards, like the “I Got Your Back Award,” “Least Likely to be Voted Off the Island Award” or the “Houdini Award” for whoever magically made a big problem disappear.
- Celebrate Theme Months: Focusing everyone on a fun monthly theme (like these monthly workplace themes) can be a great way of adding some fun and variety to the workplace.
- Reward Stress in a Fun Way: Offer a “Worst Workday” award or a weekly reward to whoever has to deal with the most obnoxious customer as a fun way to help people manage their stress.
For some offbeat wacky suggestions for workplace rituals and traditions head over to 10 Fun, Offbeat Workplace Traditions
Michael Kerr is an international Hall of Fame speaker and business trainer. He is the author of six books, including The Humor Advantage -Why Some Businesses Are Laughing All the Way to the Bank.