It’s becoming increasingly apparent that traditional, formal ways of working are not as efficient as once thought. New trends are developing that involve a more relaxed and fun way of working that is not only more enjoyable for staff but also more profitable for their employers. And when morale and engagement increase, employees are more enthusiastic about their work, and productivity increases.
The good news is that adopting a more fun and productive way of working doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive or disruptive. Some methods will involve physical changes to the workplace while others will involve shifts in practices and philosophies.
Here are 10 of the most creative and fun ways that you can promote productivity among your employees.
Offices tend to be drab, dreary places. Walls are painted with plain colors and furniture is often dull shades of gray or brown. Such dreariness is hardly likely to inspire people, so why not liven it up a bit? Get some brighter carpets, a few tins of paint, and see what colorful furniture and fittings you can find. Ask your employees how they would want to brighten up the office, and if you have any artists on your team ask them if they’d like to design some cool murals for the walls.
2. Allow Working from Home
The pandemic has opened our eyes to many aspects of life and work, and working from home has taught us much. With the end of the pandemic in sight, more employers are asking their staff back into the office, but a lot of workers are resistant to it. The reality is that, depending on your industry, you likely don’t have to force your employees back. Allow your teams to work remotely if possible, and attend meetings through cloud calling. You can use different management software as well to keep your business processes organized and efficient virtually. Working from home frees your staff from having to face commuter traffic, and it's often more fun to work from home than it is in the office.
3. Improve Office Conditions
Decorating will make your workplace look nice, but you can improve more than aesthetics. Make sure any heating or air-conditioning units are fully functional to make the space comfortable, and use air purifiers to ensure the air is clean. Free up more space in the office where you can, and make seating arrangements as comfortable as possible. It can be a great idea to clear some room in the office for relaxing, informal furniture like bean bag chairs. They can make meetings and coffee breaks more comfortable.
4. Promote a Friendly Workplace
Encourage everybody to be friendly to each other. Give your employees time to talk, catch up, and form relationships. Also do what you can to promote an inclusive culture in your company and stamp out any discriminating or toxic behaviors. A whistleblowing system gives your staff a secure channel to report unwelcome behavior without fear of retaliation, and online sexual harassment training can equip your staff for professional, appropriate communication.
5. Get a Dog
A dog can cheer up even the grayest of days. Get a dog that can join you at work and become friends with everybody in the office. Your four-legged friend will likely amuse most of your staff with their antics, and the presence of a dog can be incredibly soothing. Be mindful of which breed you choose, as some may be more or less appropriate for an office setting. The friendliest and most fun-loving pooch is probably the best choice.
6. Encourage Regular Breaks
People tend to spend too long with their heads buried in their work without taking a break. Our brains aren’t made for constant work for extended periods, and they begin to slow down when they are clogged with more information than they can process. Encouraging your staff to take more breaks will help ensure their brains are getting breaks too. After a much-needed break, your employees will likely have clearer heads and be able to tackle their work with better concentration. Not only does this lighten the workday and protect against burnout, but it will also help to increase your workforce’s productivity.
7. Practice Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement will help people feel much happier in their role. Tell your employees where they are doing well often, and try to make this praise as fun for them as possible. Giving encouragement and recognizing them in small ways will leave your employees feeling happier to be where they are and more enthusiastic about their work. The result will be better morale and higher productivity.
8. Have a Games Area
A games area will make it easier for your employees to clear their minds, helping them to focus when they get back to work. Find games that people can play together to strengthen teamwork, whether these are board games or video games. If you have a remote team, gaming VPNs can protect your network while giving your employees an effective team-building experience. When selecting the games for your team, make them as inclusive as possible so everyone can join in and nobody feels left out.
9. Celebrate Achievements
Make a point of celebrating achievements, whether they are individual or team achievements. Make celebrations fun, and get as many people involved as you can. If possible, give out small gifts to thank the individuals or teams for what they’ve accomplished. Gifts don’t have to be expensive; the thought alone will usually be all that’s needed to let people know they’re appreciated.
10. Organize Social Events
Arrange the occasional social event so everybody can get to know each other better. Look for fun team-building activities that everybody can get involved with, like a virtual happy hour if you have a remote team or the occasional evening in a restaurant together enjoying good food. Providing events like these will tell your employees that they are appreciated, making them more enthusiastic in their work. Social events can be great for developing team cohesion in the office as well as out.
The Bottom Line
Above is just a small selection of the fun ways you can promote productivity in your workplace. Remember to ask your employees what they want to see, and get as many people involved as possible. Get it right and not only will the workplace become a more enjoyable place to be, but you will also see an improvement in your productivity levels.
This guest post was written by Gabby Baglino and may not be copied or published without permission.