Six Ways to Build Some Fun into the Working Day
The small companies of today are all looking to improve productivity – and an important way of doing this is by ensuring staff are fully engaged. One of the most effective ideas to boost engagement is to build an element of fun into the working day. Here The Gattinetts, who run a rural work space complex on the Essex/Suffolk border close to Manningtree, look at six simple ways to add a touch of light-heartedness to your office culture.
Internationally, some big internet companies have been building “staff playrooms” with equipment such as slides and ball pits into their offices. While most companies won’t want to go to these extremes, bringing in a bit of fun can help people to look forward to going to work and help them to contribute more while they are there. So here are a few hints to help you do just that.
- Brighten up the Workplace – This doesn’t have to mean a complete makeover. An office can be brightened with touches such as pictures, posters and calendars, as well as plants. Bringing in flowers and fruit on a regular basis can also help to create a bright and friendly atmosphere. Where possible, staff could be given opportunities for personalisation. This might be things as simple as having a photo from home on your desk, which makes you smile when you look at it.
- Arrange Mini-Office Contests – It isn’t only big companies who can do this. Colleagues at small firms will often enjoy something like a fantasy football league. You could also try an office ‘bake-off’ where people bring in their biscuits and cakes from home, and a couple of colleagues take on the role of Prue Leith or Paul Hollywood to judge their efforts.
- Arrange Social Activities Outside Work– It can be hard to find much time to chat to co-workers when things are frantic in the office. So it’s good to arrange occasional get-togethers outside office hours, whether it’s for a meal or an activity such as bowling. Try to ensure staff don’t only get together for a “leaving do” when someone is departing!
- Celebrate Special Occasions– At many offices, staff bring in cakes when it’s someone’s birthday and arrange Secret Santa when it’s Christmas. You could also try some other mini seasonal events for Halloween or other seasonal occasions. Arranging charity events, such as the occasional coffee morning or fancy dress day, can also add some variety to the working week as well as helping a good cause.
- Get Out into the Fresh Air on Your Breaks– In too many modern workplaces, there’s a culture that people should stay chained to the desk from 9 to 5 and even eat there. However, it’s much healthier to get some fresh air at lunchtime, and there’s plenty of evidence that it can boost productivity and creativity if staff take an occasional break. If you are based in rural office space such as the Gattinetts’ complex near East Bergholt, there is beautiful countryside near at hand for staff to enjoy.
- Make Meetings Informal– Fun isn’t a strong element in most traditional business meetings. But increasingly smaller firms in particular are changing that, by organising brainstorming sessions in a more relaxed environment. This could mean using a less formal or breakout area within your own work space, or popping out to a coffee shop. As well as enjoying this type of meeting more than a standard one, staff often feel encouraged to contribute more ideas.
The Gattinetts provides a variety of work space for businesses in north Essex and south Suffolk. Follow the link to find out more about our affordable rural office space near East Bergholt and Manningtree.