Ever notice the circulation of memes on social media the start of the week about people dreading their Monday? My favorite Monday memes always seem to involve animals or kids. As a bonus I’ve included one for you!
Whether you’re happy in your current career or not, you can most likely relate to feeling the monotony that comes with the daily grind. Hopefully you have far more good days than bad and you honestly enjoy your craft and your workplace culture. If you’re not passionate about what you do, that’s a different topic, read here if you’re thinking of re-assessing your current position, or if you’re just plain ready for a change, fast track your action plan and click here instead.
On the other hand, if you are committed to your company or crew, and are just looking to inject some excitement into your workplace, January 28th is the day to plan something exciting! It’s the official Have Fun at Work Day!
Why Have Fun at Work?
This is not a national holiday, but offices all around are starting to adopt the idea in order to increase morale, employee enrichment and retention, and positively impact productivity. Smart managers know, that even if an employee is offered better pay at a different job, they may simply stay in their current vocation if they’ve built quality relationships with teammates.
The other advantage to hosting an employee mixer or team building activity, is the chance to bridge gaps between departments and improve communication between teams.
The bottom line is, when people enjoy their work, they are less likely to call out or quit, and will likelier have higher job satisfaction, and increased productivity. Most employers will reward hard work with increased incentives, whether it’s a raise, promotion, bonus or perks. See why having fun at work is a win-win all around? Having fun = money signs.
How We Celebrate
Outliers Publishing intentionally has fun at work, throughout the year! We unintentionally have fun every day, that’s a different story.
- Ok, so around the holidays, we serve together in some exciting and impactful capacity either at a food shelter, wrapping Christmas gifts for families in need, or by participating in charity work (yes, we did do ALS Ice Bucket challenge, check it out if you want to see Dr. John Shufeldt getting water dumped on him).
- We also celebrate birthdays
- Host BBQ’s during work hours
- Bring in snacks to share frequently
- Have weekly uplifting team meetings
- Once a year, we also convene for an office-wide meeting with our sister companies to find out more about each person, the company they work for, and what exactly each of us does
If you like that last idea, you could even one-up us by having everyone share what they do, and then accept props from teammates and coworkers about what they’ve done well. They must say nothing and relentlessly accept compliments, it’s a real comradery builder! In fact, feel free to steal any of our ideas and one-up us, then comment below about what you plan to do!
Although we love this annual holiday, we really hope to encourage you to sprinkle FUN into your whole year. So in a way, we’ve kind of tricked you with this post, sorry about that! Just having, well, fun.
How to Bring FUN into Your Workplace
So having fun at work can include morale boosting activities, friendly sales competitions with a pizza party for the winning team, “Wear Jeans to Work Day”, community service or off-hours health and fitness activities. The entire day doesn’t need to be carved out, and we don’t even want to narrow it down to “doing something”, but the more interactive it is, the better.
To help you we’ve compiled some helpful tips for livening up boring meetings and another list to boost morale weekly, or even daily. These ideas are written for decision makers, but proposing an idea to a supervisor or boss can show leadership potential too- especially if you’re willing to help them implement it (something to think about).
5 Ways to Pump up Work Meetings:
- Don’t hold your meeting in a room, go outside or for a walk. If you are lucky enough to have a fun area with something like miniature golf or Foosball, play some rounds while you talk.
- Start your meetings off with a fun icebreaker. These do not have to be long, but they can be a good way to get everyone laughing and ready to have positive interaction. You can find some office icebreakers here.
- Make your meetings interactive. Meetings always should be purposeful, but often end up being ineffective, so find a way to keep everyone involved. For example, if you are trying to bring awareness to expenses in the office, give staff members a blank sheet of expense categories where they fill in what they think the cost is. Then, go over the sheet and talk about what is really happening. You could also hold a fun contest like first one to grab a pen, tape, or paperclip wins a ten dollar gift card to Starbucks. This is a great way to get everyone’s attention at the beginning of the meeting.
- Diversify the way you present. This means you can sometimes have a guest speaker or that you add more visuals to your meeting.
- Bring food to the meeting. I don’t know about you, but food always makes our meetings better. If budget is a concern, it can be a fun opportunity for people to showcase their cooking/baking skills.
5 General Ways to Inflate Morale Weekly:
- Have a teammate of the week, AKA the “office hero”. Buy a miscellaneous trophy from the thrift store and announce/email/create a poster about the talents or achievements of that person. This may sound cheesy, or prone to a disastrous Michael Scott moment, but if you are consistent and recognize your employees’ hard work, you will be surprised what a confidence boost this simple gesture offers and how it impacts the team’s performance. Ask the winner to help present the new winner with the trophy the next week. Repeat.
- Engage with employees. When you listen and absorb, you’ll find out what motivates them or if they have anything they wish was different at work. You can do this with a suggestion box or opening dialogue at your weekly meetings.
- Offer four-day work weeks. Many people value their time with their families and would prefer to work four ten hour shifts instead of the traditional five eight hour shifts. This not only helps your employees save money on gas, but it allows them an extra day with their families. If you know an employee is struggling with a major life-change, this schedule change could make their time at work much more effective, and help them feel recognized.
- Reward specific achievements. For example, if your office just finished a big project, take them out to lunch. If you notice someone sticking out in a team project, you could award the MVP a Starbucks card.
- Create a Vision Board! We first learned about these in researching January’s important causes. Celebrity Kellen Lutz (think the buff vampire in the Twilight Series) proclaimed the second Saturday in January the first annual National Vision Board Day. He and his friends started getting together in 2010 to dream about their goals and lofty dreams for the upcoming year. They did this tangibly, with magazine clippings, poster boards, glue sticks, and scissors, so they could hold the symbolic images in their hands, to hang in their workspace or in a place they would see daily. This fun activity can be used to help teammates visualize achievements and personal goals they want to meet at work. Learn more about Lutz’ Vision Board Day here.
Photo credit- National Vision Board Day Instagram
We would love to hear from you! What are some ways your office has fun?Did this jog your memory of an idea you have and want to implement? Comment below.