When you run an office – or any establishment with a team of employees – you soon discover that striking the balance between fun and seriousness can be quite challenging. You want to make your work environment more fun for your colleagues, but ultimately, work is about making things happen, not having fun.
8 Ways to Make Your Work Environment More Fun
Finding this happy medium is something that bosses and team leaders constantly strive for, and often, in the process, they wind up erring on the side of seriousness. This can lead to a low morale in the office, and ultimately can cause tension if workers feel that the stress-fun balance is off kilter.
In this post, you’ll find out how to make your work environment more fun for everyone. This doesn’t mean you don’t need to work at all… But rather that you can achieve a perfect balance of lightheartedness and serious work time.
Let’s get started!
1) Make fun, personalized items for each person in the office.
One thing that makes people feel valued at work, and can often lift their spirits, is personal attention.
In the modern work environment, people do not want to feel like worker drones. They want to be appreciated for their individuality. If your colleagues feel as if they are not valued for their individual contribution to the work, the work environment might have an increased amount of tension.
Some fun ideas for fun, personalized items include:
- T-shirts and hoodies with names or nicknames on them;
- A personalized mug or water bottle for each colleague – you can find mugs online that you can design from scratch;
- Personalized mouse mats for desks and work-from-home days.
These simple, cost-effective investments can work wonders for people’s mood and energy in the office. Just having a small item that makes them stand out in the office can make a person feel more valued.
One issue that many workers face is that they simply don’t have time to get to know their colleagues.
Although they want to have a fun, lighthearted relationship with the people they work with, they are so swamped by work that socialization can be put on the back burner. This can lead to stagnation in the workplace, as the camaraderie of employees gets stifled by workload.
That’s why one strategy that many bosses adopt is to host a monthly event that allows colleagues to let loose and socialize with each other. This could be held at the office or workplace, or it could be a question of hiring a bar space, or taking colleagues to an event such as a concert or sports game.
It’s simply a great long-term way to make your work environment more fun.
3) Embrace lighthearted banter between people.
Some bosses, when concerned about productivity, attempt to shut down banter or fun interactions between coworkers during working hours. This is to try and stop people from spending too much time “hanging out”, and is often enforced to assert the manager or team leader’s authority.
However, enforcing these things too strictly can actually have a detrimental effect.
People are bound to make friends, and by shutting these relationships down, you will only alienate the groups of people who have formed a bond in the workplace.
If you want to make your work environment more fun, embrace banter as part of the working day. You’ll soon realize it has a minimal effect on productivity, and an awesome effect on the general mood of the office.
4) Allow a more relaxed dress code.
Unless you work in a place that has a strict dress code for safety reasons, such as a construction site, you should consider relaxing your dress code in the workplace. Old fashioned “strict” dress codes are bound up with authoritarian styles of working, which are, to put it plainly, old news.
By relaxing your dress code, you encourage people to be themselves and embrace individual expression. This allows people to feel more comfortable at work, and will enable them to bring across their true personality – resulting in a more fun, generally high spirited working environment.
Related: 14.5 Reasons I’m Thankful For My Job
5) Use break times wisely.
Break times are your employees’ personal time.
You can’t dictate what happens in that time. However, you can create structures within the workplace to encourage people to spend break times socializing and bonding with one another.
In addition, you can encourage activities such as playing pool or foosball, to boost people’s mood when they are “at work” but not working.
By creating these structures, you are sending a message to people that you want them to enjoy their day – that they aren’t robots, but human beings who deserve to have a good time during their breaks.
6) Invest in team building exercises for the workers.
Team building is a long-established way of making work more productive – but does it make work more fun?
Studies show that team building not only helps people work more efficiently as a team, but it also increases the general wellbeing of workers.
Team building ignites people’s passion for building something or creating something with others, which can lead to better socialization. And, let’s face it, doing team building exercises is a pretty fun way to spend the day!
If you are looking for ways to bring a fun vibe to your workplace, team building exercises are a good place to start. You can do these at work, or even book a retreat for core team members to broaden their horizons and get them out of the office.
Never underestimate the power of interior design. Increasing the number of bright colors, such as orange, yellow, green, red and pink, in the workplace, can boost people’s moods and make them feel happier at work.
Psychologists have studied the effect of certain colors on the human brain. The above colors are all proven to instill feelings of calm and tranquility in the workplace, allowing people to enjoy their working environment, not just get through the day. Plus, these colors can help decrease stress levels, which will allow people to feel more positive while they are at work.
Some ways to incorporate more color in the workplace are:
- Colorful soft furnishings, like couches, cushions and chairs;
- Investing in house plants that are dotted around the office and bring a distinct green color to the environment;
- Having local artwork on the walls of the workplace that bring a cultural and artistic flair to the space;
- Encouraging people to wear their own clothes, as was discussed in a previous section;
- Shedding the “white walls” stereotype of a boring workplace, and embracing colorful walls and floors!
Want to improve your work environment? Splash in a ton of color!! 🙂
8) Improve communication between colleagues.
Ultimately, the key to making a workplace more fun is to decrease stress. Each of these tips has boiled down to one common theme: less stress, more fun.
Communication is one of the key ways to make things less stressful.
We all know that in our personal lives and relationships, a lack of communication can lead to misunderstandings, stress, arguments and tension. By being open and honest, and investing time in communication, we can make our workplaces flow much more easily. This can help us to feel more satisfied with how things are going in the workplace, which leads inevitably to a more positive work mood overall.
Related: That Time My Wife Was Right
Want to Make Your Work Environment More Fun? …Final Thoughts
If you run a workplace or manage a team of people, use this guide to assist you in your efforts to lighten up the place.
Making work feel fun without reducing productivity can be difficult, but with these simple techniques, you will be on your way to creating the perfect work-play balance.
Which ideas are your favorite for improving life in the workplace? What will you soon implement?
My name is Derek, and I have my Bachelors Degree in Finance from Grand Valley State University. After graduation, I was not able to find a job that fully utilized my degree, but I still had a passion for Finance! So, I decided to focus my passion in the stock market. I studied Cash Flows, Balance Sheets, and Income Statements, put some money into the market and saw a good return on my investment. As satisfying as this was, I still felt that something was missing. I have a passion for Finance, but I also have a passion for people. If you have a willingness to learn, I will continue to teach.