Workplaces just want to have fun: The importance of levity in the office
- Happy National Fun at Work Day. Even if you haven't made specific plans to celebrate (though it's never too late), employers can at least use the occasion to consider the role fun plays in workplace culture.
- For example, Doug Claffey, CEO of WorkplaceDynamics, which provides employee feedback and performance improvement solutions, believes that fun at work isn’t just about games and being silly. It can be a sign of an engaged workplace.
- In fact, Claffey says if done right, fun encourages teamwork and breaks down barriers to spur creativity, productivity and enthusiasm. It also promotes a positive culture where employees are better connected to the organization.
Okay, so the concept of fun doesn't always mesh with typical workdays. But blending some fun stuff into the day is important because engaged workplaces attract people who want to stay, do great work, and recommend an organization to others, Claffey noted. He firmly believes that top workplaces know how to have fun, and his company's research shows that these employers – as well as those that aspire to be top workplaces – exhibit twice the employee engagement rate of a typical workplace.
According to RiseSmart, an outplacement firm, some ideas include off-site gatherings at a fun venue such as an amusement park or a piano bar, renting out a movie theater or attending a sporting event (baseball game or golf tournament). Maybe bringing in a catered lunch now and then, or even coffee and donuts, can foster some fun. Another idea is hosting a game day, with activities ranging from trivia competitions to Wii bowling.
Does adding fun to the workplace make a difference? RiseSmart says a Randstad study shows that 36% of those surveyed would forfeit earning up to $5,000 a year just to be happier at work, and analysts at the University of Warwick found that happiness made people around 12% more productive.