No matter what your role in the organisation, you won’t produce your best work unless you are motivated and inspired. Boredom is a huge demotivator. Nobody wants to feel that their work is routine, that their job is the same-old, or that their office is static. People want to work in dynamic, exciting environments. Those who are more enthused about coming to work produce better results than those who do not.
Fun is an essential component of a dynamic working environment. That doesn’t mean slacking off, bad jokes, or interrupting meetings to jam on your guitar like David Brent. It does mean you should look for ways that can make coming to work more of an experience and less of a grind.
Today, we’re going to look at some ideas for introducing an element of fun into the workplace. This list is far from exhaustive but might stimulate your own creativity, enabling you to find ways to make your organisation unique and a great place to work.
Get Out of the Office
Boredom is one of the biggest causes of productivity lapses. One driver of boredom is when we start to feel that everything is the same. Offices rarely change, meaning your people spend forty or more hours a week in an effectively static environment. Getting away from the office now and again acts as a welcome change for many people, stimulating their senses to take on new information and making their days less routine.
You can accomplish this in many ways. For example, meetings or appraisals could take place in a local restaurant, or even just somewhere else on the premises. You could improve the abilities for your people to work remotely, allowing them to spend days at home to break up their week.
When we stimulate our senses, we become more alert. It would be far too costly to change the furniture and redecorate the office every week, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add variety. For example, you could change the artwork on the walls to add new visuals, or you could change the plants seasonally. Different air fresheners can provide people with new scents, or even a change of radio station can add new sounds.
Some companies have found great success in keeping their people motivated by temporarily shifting the projects that they are working on. For example, Valve Software, creators of the Half-Life video game series and the online retailer Steam encourage their people to move between teams on occasion. This is intended to help their people stay motivated as it breaks up some of the daily monotony, while also giving them the chance to gain new skills and insights from their peers.
Staying in the tech world, Google encourages each of its developers to spend a little bit of time every day on a personal project. By breaking up the task, the aim is to ensure the developers don’t burn out trying to solve one problem and sustain their motivation levels.
Celebrate Events With Your People
We spend more time with our colleagues than almost any other people in our lives. Fostering a sense of family can be a huge motivator, and one of the best ways to do this is to celebrate with them. Acknowledging birthdays, anniversaries, personal achievements and other such milestones take only a small amount of time out of the day but can have a massive effect on engagement and productivity.
Don’t just recognise people for what they do, but recognise them because they are part of your team. That recognition can also help to increase loyalty to your organisation and make your workers better advocates for your business.
People are often wary of speaking candidly in the office. Many fear that anything they might say could end up on the record and cause problems down the road. However, if your people are struggling with issues at home, or are experiencing other difficulties then it is something leaders need to know about.
By organising social events, both in and out of the office, you can connect with your people on a more personal level which may make them more willing to open up about problems they are having. Social events can make people relax and feel more ‘at home’ within your organisation, and it provides you with the opportunity to support them when things get tough.