While the workplace is aptly named based on what is expected while we are there – to work – it’s also critical that we encourage having some fun while at work. Fun can come in many forms and can be subtle gestures or grand occasions. Whatever method you support , without having some fun in the workplace you are destined to have high turnover and/or less engaged employees. Over the years I have seen and participated in so many ways to bring some laughter/happiness to the work day so I thought I’d share some of them. Some may be applicable in your workplace, or they may inspire ideas that could work for you.
- Celebrate Halloween with costume contests and have the executive team be the judges (they must participate as well)
- Have candies/chocolates on your desk and have an open house to invite employees to your office – sometimes employees need an invite to come or they stay far away!
- Decorate office space for birthdays
- Wear fun socks or shoes to provoke dialogue
- Bring home made cookies/cupcakes (preferably that you made yourself) and pass them out
- Have a putting green set up in the office and charge $1/3 balls with money going to charity
- Take employees away for a fun day – indoor volleyball, baseball game, etc..
- Give back to the community by having teams participate together
- Ensure at town halls, or other opportunities in front of the organization, the leadership team show the camaraderie they have with the rest of the organization – have some laughs during the presentation
- Create a video to tell all employees they are getting new office chairs where the President is the star of the video demonstrating the features of the chair (seriously, we did do this)
- Provide ice cream to employees working in hot conditions during the summer – for a “wow” factor, drive in an ice cream truck and serve the ice cream yourself (that’s me in the photo above!)
- Televise big sporting events or news features on TV’s – if no TV’s, bring some in
- Have theme days – launch of a movie, sport jersey days, Hawaiian dress, etc.
- When launching a new program, do it with a splash – have cake, music, entertainment…
- Talk about your pets, children, travel – show the team you are human too!
As leaders, we set the tone by our own behavior. If we aren’t caught laughing and having fun at work, your teams will assume it’s not OK. If necessary, schedule time in your calendar every day to walk around and find ways to make someone laugh or smile. It doesn’t take much time but will be remembered for many years.
If you want some help generating ideas on how to create fun at work,