Can You Have a Fun and Productive Work Environment? Science Says Yes

As an entrepreneur, you’re likely serious about your startup and want to succeed. But, there’s no rule that says you need to be serious 24/7.

News flash: your workplace doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom to be productive (the truth hurts, doesn’t it?). If you want your workplace to increase productivity, you need to have a little … fun.

Read on to learn what science says about using fun tactics at work, tips for incorporating fun, and why fun in the office is the future.

5 Tips for creating a fun and productive workplace

So at this point, you might be thinking something along the lines of, This guy is crazy! There’s no way you can balance fun and productivity at work. You might think business needs to be all work and no play. However, you’re sadly mistaken.

According to one study, happy employees experience 31% higher productivity. And how do you make employees happy at work? Use the complex formula below:

Fun + Work = Happy Employees

OK, so maybe the formula is not-so complex after all. But one thing’s for sure: having a little fun never hurt anybody.

Not incorporating any fun whatsoever at work can really hurt your startup’s employer brand and reputation. Not to mention, being a fun-suck can really put a damper on employee engagement.

Still not entirely convinced that workplace fun is the way to go? Take a look at some other perks of having some fun in the office:

  • Improves communication and collaboration
  • Increases creativity and innovation
  • Attracts top-notch employees
  • Encourages advocacy
  • Boosts productivity

Hopefully by now, I’ve sold you on giving fun at work the old college try. If I have, keep on reading. If I haven’t, have fun being boring!

For those of you who are still with me, let’s take a look at some ways you can have fun at work without sacrificing productivity, shall we?

If you’re ready to foster camaraderie, enhance engagement, and (hopefully) get your employees’ creative juices flowing, take advantage of these five tips to build a fun workplace atmosphere.

1. Celebrate achievements of every size

Over 65% of employees say they do not feel recognized at work. With so many employees feeling underappreciated, how in the world can you showcase your appreciation? Oh yes, what’s that word again? Fun!

When it comes to recognizing and appreciating your employees for their hard work, incorporate some fun activities as a thank you. Be sure to celebrate even the smallest of wins.

There are a number of options for mixing fun into your recognition efforts. Some examples include pizza parties, spontaneous raffles, and team lunches. The options are endless when it comes to showing your appreciation in a fun way. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box for celebrating achievements.

Combining recognition and fun is a win-win for everyone. Show off your MVPs and thank them for a job well done. And, of course, have fun while doing it.

2. Don’t brush off ideas

If you want to stimulate creativity and innovation and have fun while doing it, you can’t be squashing employees’ ideas before they can even spit them out. Instead of brushing off new ideas, encourage them.

Your workplace should be a safe space for your employees to share their ideas. Employees shouldn’t be afraid to speak or share their thoughts because you shoo them away.

Instead of stifling creative ideas, encourage employees to shout them from the rooftops. Let your employees have a little fun with their idea-sharing. The craziest of ideas might sound ridiculous at first, but they just might work.

To have fun with it, host some brainstorming sessions at your next meeting. Heck, you can even devote an entire meeting to silly ideas and thoughts. Whatever your game plan is, make sure you’re not a killjoy when it comes to sharing ideas.

3. Let people be themselves

Your employees are one of a kind, like snowflakes. But if you put them in the wrong type of environment and don’t let them be who they are, they will melt. If you want to have a fun work environment, you need to let people be unapologetically themselves.

Encourage employees to talk about their likes, dislikes, family, and hobbies. Who knows, they might even meet someone who shares the same interests as them. And, close workplace friendships boost employee satisfaction by 50%.

At my accounting and payroll software company, Patriot Software, we like to spotlight each of our employees on our website. On our team page, you can view a photo of each employee and their name. When you hover over their picture, it gives you a glimpse of each employee’s interests (e.g., video games or baking).

4. Encourage participation

If you want to get your employees involved in fun work-related activities, you need to promote team spirit. That means you need to get the gung-ho employees and workaholics on board the spirit train. If you want to do this, encourage participation.

You must be a role model if you want employees to participate in work functions. If your employees don’t see you participating, chances are they will sit on the sidelines, too.

At Patriot, we have company-wide Nerf gun wars where employees battle each other. All employees participate (very willingly, might I add) and have a blast doing so. You never know when the next battle is going to break out!

When it comes to workplace events or parties, let your employees be part of the process from start to finish. To ensure all employees are actively participating, consider assigning roles. You can have designated employees plan, promote, and execute the event.

Make sure no employee gets left behind. Being left out is absolutely no fun. Make sure all of your employees get the memo about any fun functions. And, be sure that it’s on a day they can attend.

5. Bring on the snacks

Who doesn’t like food? I’ll do you one better: Who doesn’t like free food? According to Snacknation, 67% of employees with access to free food at work are very happy at their job.

If you want to give your employees something fun to look forward to each day, bring in some snacks. If you have a kitchen, consider stocking it up with snacks at the beginning of each workday. That way, employees have something to munch on while they’re working.

At Patriot, we have a kitchenette on each floor and always have a variety of snacks available to employees. Once in a while, we like switching up the types of snacks we offer to keep employees on their toes.

Does having fun hinder productivity? Statistics say no…

Still think fun and productivity don’t mesh? Take a look at the following fast facts that say otherwise:

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Author: Mike Kappel

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