Employees’ ability to maintain a healthy work-life balance is an essential facet of a positive workplace environment. According to Irish Tech News, work-life balance is the “self-determined state of well-being that allows an individual to effectively manage different responsibilities at work, as well as outside work.”
Companies that support their employees in achieving work-life balance can reduce turnover and increase productivity and employee satisfaction by managing chronic stress and workplace burnout.
Though companies often utilize comprehensive benefits packages as a means of supporting employees’ home lives, employers can also make use of the workplace to facilitate opportunities for fun and socializing, and to promote employee well-being and mental health.
Why is it Important to Have a Fun Workplace?
Having a fun workplace is important because it helps employees find an outlet to relieve tension from work responsibilities and build strong connections with colleagues through friendly team activities. Barometer analyzed employee reviews from Glassdoor's Best Places to Work and found two parts that make up a good company culture: fun and friendliness. Of the reviews evaluated, 38% agreed that friendliness of their work colleagues and 24% of reviews mentioned their office to be exciting and an enjoyable work environment.
Continuous pressure in the office can impact employee satisfaction levels, ultimately reducing an employee’s long-term loyalty to the company. Ultimately, employers will find their employees performing less harder and possibly leaving the company for a competitor that has a more fun and friendly company culture established.
Fun Ideas for the Office
Creating a fun and friendly workplace is not only for in-office employees, and it is also feasible for remote working companies. It is essential for employers to understand the different circumstances their teams may be in (i.e. remote or in-person), and work towards building steps that are functional for everyone.
Here are a few ways to help achieve a fun and friendly workplace.
Schedule Group Fitness Classes
Use your company’s familiarity with video calls for something other than meetings. By organizing virtual yoga, meditation, or fitness classes you can promote both engagement and employee well-being.
According to Forbes, to explore ways to keep virtual employees connected, “companies can inspire healthy habits by holding and encouraging mobility breaks, meditation sessions, virtual yoga and mental wellness trainings.”
To begin, pick a time of day that is mindful of your employees’ schedules. Morning or lunchtime sessions are often ideal, providing an endorphin-boost to start the day or a mid-day mental break.
Employees with an interest or background in wellness can volunteer to lead the sessions, or you can hire a virtual corporate wellness instructor.
Outdoor Lunch Meetings
Take advantage of the spring and summer months by organizing an outdoor picnic for employees. By moving meetings or social events outside, you can incorporate the added benefits of nature while having plenty of space for the event.
An article in Personnel Today touts the benefits of time spent in nature, including “reductions in stress, anger and exhaustion, while increasing energy levels, cognitive functioning and happiness.” When applied to the workplace, the authors cite a study which found that “office workers with a view of nature liked their jobs more, enjoyed better health and reported greater life satisfaction.”
You may not be able to ensure your office space has a scenic view or that remote workers keep plants at home, but you can periodically organize outdoor opportunities for socializing and team building.
Here are a few tips for organizing your team picnic.
- Choose a park near your physical office location and a day with odds of good weather.
- Have your employees submit their lunch orders in advance so that you can then place with your local third-party food delivery app.
- Make it BYOB (Bring Your Own Blanket).
- Bring Bluetooth speakers for some background music.
- Plan a game, quiz, or other team-building activity.
Encourage Office Banter
Staying involved with your remote teams is as important as being connected with your in-person teams. However, remote teams can miss the everyday office banter that happens in the communal spaces in the office. A method to encourage a fun and friendly company culture that includes all employees is to implement a watercooler channel where every day discourse can occur.
Another method is encouraging your staff to create an employee newsletter. Employee newsletters help keep the company informed of internal changes on a weekly or monthly basis. However, the information can become dull and monotonous if there is no way for employees to stay engaged and interactive with the content.
To produce enthusiastic content, we recommend including a few creative ideas in addition to company updates. This way, employees can look forward to receiving newsletters for a fun read. Creative ideas can include but are not limited to:
- Recipe of the week – each employee can submit their favorite recipe to share with the company. This is a great way to encourage diversity and try new cuisines from different cultural backgrounds.
- Fun fact of the day – these facts can range from science to humor. Regardless, these fun facts can help employees learn about new things they were not aware of.
- Get to know an employee – interview each member with high-level questions that showcase who they are and what they like to do outside the office. This helps other colleagues interact with those who have common interests or would like to learn more about a hobby or skill.
Office Social Clubs
Creating office social clubs is a great way for employees to engage in activities that boost happiness and quality of health. When creating these clubs, it is important to be inclusive of different activities that range from high to low activity levels to allow all staff members to join. The purpose of clubs is to help build strong relationships and support among employees in the workplace.
Here are a few ideas to creating fun office clubs.
- Book club – Reading can be an enjoyable and tranquil activity for many. Those that prefer calm activities can join in and bond over a good book.
- Cooking club – Regardless of cooking skill level, this is a great idea for employees to share and create each other’s favorite recipes. It is a great way for each individual to hone their cooking skills and learn a new technique to make the kitchen more fun.
- Sports club – Whether it is a community sports club or workplace competitions, it can help employees get competitive and have fun across all departments.
Office Awards (Superlatives and professional)
Celebrate your employees’ less-than-professional achievements with a tongue-in-cheek office awards ceremony. Taking the opportunity to show appreciation for your employees as individuals can build a company culture of fun and personalization.
Here are a few ideas for organizing your team awards ceremony.
- Engage the whole team in selecting awards categories (e.g. “Best Desk Décor”, or “Best Office Quote”).
- Keep it light. Make the awards categories playful and creative.
- Use SurveyMonkey to identify category nominees and another round of surveys to determine your category winners.
- Model it after the Oscars. Hold a faux-formal ceremony with triumphant music and glamorous decorations.
- Get the whole team involved. Recruit an employee-led production team and MC to host the event.
Encourage Your Office with an Engaging Culture
Keeping things fun and friendly around the office matters because a positive company culture will keep employees engaged and happy. Employees that are happy with their company tend to perform higher, thus helping your bottom line. It is important to make sure that employees are satisfied and like their workplace. People who enjoy the day-to-day aspects of their job are less likely to actively look for other job opportunities.
Barometer can help you gain extra insight on whether your employees are invested and interested in a fun and friendly workplace. We can help you dive in to see what is going on at your company beyond your Glassdoor ratings. Click here to learn more about how Barometer can help!