Work – : a job or activity that you do regularly especially in order to earn money: the place where you do your job: the things that you do especially as part of your job. (Merriam-Webster, 2014)
Hmm… We don’t see anything about “fun” or “enjoyment” in the definition of work, do you?
Considering that people spend over half of their waking life working, wouldn’t it be nice to have some fun once in a while? Well, you can and you should. Especially considering 83% of Americans are stressed out at work according to a recent study by Harris Interactive for Everest College.
If we can find new ways to make work more fun, we could lower this ridiculously large statistic as well as build a better environment for all employees. When there’s a positive feeling in the workplace, it extends to customers as well. Below, here are 20 ways to make work more fun.
20 Ways to Make Work Fun
“Be happy for what you have, while working for what you want.” – Helen Keller
#1: Listen to music.
If practical, bring some headphones or portable stereo with you to work. If someone complains, tell them to consider this: researchers at the University of Illinois found that people who listened to music while doing complex analytical work or administrative tasks increased their productivity.
#2: Fung Shui your work space.
Energize and organize your workspace by doing some of all of the following: use colored post-its or paper clips, stack your baskets, use color-coded folders, get a small plant or flower, or have pictures and other inspirational stuff around
#3: Have a stress ball or something else to play with at your desk.
If you work on a computer or talk to people all day, it can get boring and stressful real quick. Having something pliable in your hand, like a stress ball, can help ease the boredom.
#4: Change your screensaver to something happy or relaxing.
Instead of your company logo, change the computer screen to a picture of nature, your favorite sports team or something else that is pleasant.
#5: Use your breaks to their full advantage.
Contrary to the corporate mindset, extended time at your desk does not increase productivity. Long stretches of concentrated work demand that your brain and body recharge, and you should be doing so.
#6: Create special interest groups.
Incorporate passionate endeavors to make work fun by forming a group with likeminded people. Create a fantasy football group, exercise group, political or current events group, etc…
#7: Have a potluck.
Regardless of what anyone says, food is fun. People love preparing food that they know will be enjoyed and appreciated by their coworkers.
#8: Host Team-building events.
Find a way to get out of the office and enjoy each other’s company. This brings your group closer together and provides a nice boost to morale and productivity.
#9: Celebrate milestones and successes.
People love recognition for a job well done and for their loyalty. Concentrate your resources and provide a small cash bonus or some kind of memento that shows appreciation for that individual’s efforts.
#10: Reward prizes for production.
When a coworker achieves or does something beyond the normal scope of their duties, such as making the first sale of the day or staying a half-hour late for their team, have some small prizes for them to choose from.
#11: Work for yourself, either on the side or full-time.
The business-savvy, world renowned Jeff Lerner recommends that you consider doing enjoyable freelance work or starting your own business from home to make work more fun. There are many ways to earn an income, or even multiple incomes, on your own schedule and your own terms.
#12: Have a charity day.
There’s something to be said about a workplace that gives back to the community. Consider a paid day where staff can get out of the office and contribute something to the greater good.
#13: Joke around (a little) to make work fun.
Send out an email with a good (appropriate!) joke and watch the tension and stuffiness of the workplace diminish. This reinforces the important element of humor in the workplace…and it is important.
#14: Supervisor roasting.
This is a blast. Managers are unique in that eyes are constantly on them, and as a result so are their little quirks. Have a day where a good-natured manager can take a little ribbing and share some laughs with their team.
#15: Teammate roasting.
This, too, is a blast. While not quite as fun or fulfilling as roasting a manager, some good-natured humor directed at your teammate is a good morale booster.
#16: Have a welcome committee.
When new team members join, have them fill out some fun information about themselves (favorite sports team, hobby, TV show, anything), and have the committee take them out to lunch or surprise them with fun stuff for their workspace.
#17: Pick your own schedule.
For team members that deliver excellent results, let them pick their own schedule for the week or the month to make work more fun for them.
#18: Games, games, games.
Some workplaces have video game systems, table tennis, or foosball tables available for people to play on their breaks and lunches, and as a reward for excellent production. This is a huge morale booster and keeps the workplace productive and fun.
#19: Have a movie day.
It’s simple to set up a TV and DVD player, so gather the team or the workplace around and watch a flick. From experience, this is a fun and productive event.
Comedies are awesome, as the team can share and enjoy some laughter – another important part of having fun in the workplace.
#20: Take fun seriously.
Kind of a paradox, yes; but workplaces that mix fun stuff into their workplaces are healthier, more productive, and distinguish themselves from the grind that so many other employers put their workers through.
Taking the idea of fun in the workplace as a serious notion, either by yourself or as a team, brings happiness and joy to a place where it is much-needed.
Add to the conversation: Can you add to the list? We’d love to hear how you make work fun in the comments below.
“I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.” – Thomas Edison