The F-word. Can you say it? The three letter one.
For most managers and leaders this idea sends them into grand daydreams of employees running rampant through the office.
To make work fun doesn’t mean cheering on go-cart races through the accounts department, it simply means transforming the workplace to create a more positive and productive environment.
According to research by economists at the University of Warwick that showed when people actually enjoy their jobs this happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity. There’s sufficient research that indicates when you make work fun, you can increase communication, creativity and trust between employee and employer, ultimately leading to boosted morale.
It’s almost outlandish to believe that when you make work fun that could impact organisational success, right?
In their book, The Levity Effect, authors Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher reveal how workplace humour can be leveraged as a powerful tool impact the bottom line, build a great company culture and encourage innovation amongst your employees.
According to Shawn Achor, author of The Happiness Advantage, found during his research that the brain works better when people are feeling more positive. Often these individuals tend to be better problem-solvers and what’s more even better collaborators. And fun in the workplace creates these positive feelings. As Achor cites, ‘happiness leads to greater levels of profit’.
The number one premise of work is that it need not be boring and dull and by the numbers. It ought to be fun. And work that’s fun is available to all of us. It’s not confined to just Fortune 100 companies.
The workplace is changing and the Millennial and Generation Z employees demand a sense of organisational purpose and learning opportunities that don’t sit in the traditional employee development matrix.
For them, and now also for those around them, work is a thing, not a place; it’s about output, not about time input; it can happen anywhere, not just in an office. Empassion them, befun them, retain them.
An authentic, deserved pat on the back, in full view, and with some tangible gain to boot, is like getting a like or getting a retweet; only better.
What’s even better?
You can automate this recognition, which also can make work fun! Make the “I care” an investment.
Google’s Sergei Brin and Apple’s Steve Jobs took employees along their legendary success on waves of fun.
The ancients already said it: Mark Twain, “Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life”; and Noel Coward, “Work is more fun than fun”; and Abbie Hoffman, “You never do anything for fame or money. You only do things because they’re fun. If you can combine the two at the same time, you can make a contribution to the world and have a lot of happiness.”
When you make work fun it cultivates a positive company culture that helps engage employees. Employees want to show up to a workplace that is enjoyable and to put in their best effort. Employees who love where they work organically become brand ambassadors promoting the company from the inside out; thereby attracting new talent.
Twitter understands the importance of making work a fun place to be. As part of their culture, they hold rooftop meetings to keep things interesting and the ideas fresh. Meals are delivered to the office every day and if you’re feeling the midday slump, they’ve got a yoga class for that. Some employees even get offered unlimited vacation time. Now that’s a 140-character worthy tweet!
Achor further notes that there are some easy ways employees can boost their own happiness. By undertaking one positive exercise each day like helping out team members, sending positive messages to colleagues in their social network, meditating at work for two minutes each day.
A fun company culture is a great way to ramp up your Employer Value Proposition - people want to work at places with a great culture and who treat their employees well. But it doesn’t mean you have to break the bank - injecting some fun into your workplace can be as simple as creating a vibe, an energy that sets the tone for teams to create, collaborate and have fun with work.
The truth is, work without fun it’s just work, but both the organisation and the individual has a responsibility to make it so.
So, get creative, get collaborating and build some fun into your culture.
We’re sure you have plenty of tips on how you make work fun, why don’t you drop us a line in the comments section below and tell us what’s been working for you?