When people talk about creating a workplace that’s attractive to candidates and that retains staff, they often default to topics like flexibility, benefits, perks, and opportunities for growth. And while all of that stuff is important, one word that isn’t used often enough is fun. You read that right, fun. Employees spend so much of their lives at work, making that experience more enjoyable is worth doing. And not just because it’s the right thing to do. Creating a fun working environment and empowering employees to enjoy themselves can produce a whole host of benefits.
Shouldn’t work be a serious business?
Physician and author Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, “We don’t quit playing because we grow older; we grow older because we quit playing.” It’s not hard to see why as adults, so many of us have an idea of what the working environment is and should be like. Work is a serious business, the thinking goes. We’re grown up now, so there’s no time for fun.
Fortunately, this way of thinking is starting to change. It’s not about messing around or avoiding real work; fun in the workplace actually encourages wellbeing, creativity, and productivity.
That’s right, fun is actually one of the best things you can introduce in the workplace. It’s a great tool for encouraging engagement and strengthening relationships between employees and teams. Given that two-thirds of US workers say that they aren’t engaged at work, it makes sense to create a better work environment. Being engaged isn’t just about the actual, physical work involved, it’s about inter-office relationships and connections, feeling valued, and being constructive. When a company introduces levity, it shows that you care about your employees rather than that they just do their jobs.
Fun businesses are more productive and successful
It’s no surprise that Google consistently tops best places to work lists year after year. Employees have access to a games room, cooking classes, and massage therapists, and are invited to programs featuring guest speakers, among other things. Every year, Fortune magazine compiles The Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For list. Not only are they some of the most successful companies in the world, but their employees say “this is a fun place to work” and “taking everything into account, I consider this a great place to work.” The bottom line is that if you want to attract the best talent and get the best results, make your organization a fun place to work.
There are plenty of ways that you can introduce fun into the workplace, and you don’t have to have the budget of a Google to do so. Things like creating a games area, instituting a day a year where employees are paid to come up with and pitch innovative ideas outside of their normal roles, or team days or nights out are all great strategies. Anything that encourages people to come together and build relationships or be more creative will all contribute to a better functioning and fun workplace.
Fun makes sense
You don’t just want your employees to like their work and workplace, you want them to love it. Engaged and happy employees are more productive, happier, healthier, and stay with their organization for longer. A little fun goes a long way, so isn’t it time to try it?