Fun in the Workplace = An Engaged, Productive, Healthy Workforce

Retention, motivation, innovation, productivity, wellbeing and the success of a business are all factors that are impacted by how happy a business’s employees are. They all decline when employees are disengaged and unhappy, just as they all improve when employees are enjoying where they work.
A study conducted by Sodexo Engage found that only 12% of UK employees are completely happy in their job, with 8% of those saying they strongly disagreed with the statement, “my job makes me happy”. Considering this, employee happiness needs to be addressed. Happiness has a huge impact on engagement, and it is the engaged employees that will show up every day with passion, purpose, presence and energy.
So, why should you care?
A Healthier, More Present Workforce
Employees that have fun at work are more likely to avoid the effects of stress and anxiety. Studies show that those that enjoy where they work are less likely to take sick days and an experiment with 700 employees confirmed that happiness can increase productivity by as much as 12%. A fun work culture also encourages stronger, healthier relationships with colleagues. It encourages open discussion and builds trust between one another. It is proven to aid collaborative working and effective communication between teams.
Creative Development
A happy team that is working in a fun and engaging work environment will be more open to new ideas. ‘Social Play’ plays a big part in healthy creative development. Children learn best when they are playing, and this also applies to adults. Have you ever noticed that when a company holds a “team building day”, it usually involves hands-on, creative activities? This is because creative environments encourage high-performer energy and as a result, employees are more innovative, enthusiastic and engaged, evoking new ideas. Research by Gallup proves the most successful businesses make employee engagement central to their business strategy. Teams who scored in the top 20% in engagement saw 59% less staff turnover, 41% fewer employee absences and 21% greater profitability across their business.
A Strong Employer Brand, Increasing Direct Hires
A fun, engaging work environment is a critical part of a strong Employer Brand. Sharing content on social media and giving people an insight into what it’s like to work for your business makes you more approachable, aiding that human connection. People connect with people first, so position yourself as a more approachable business. It’s great for showcasing your culture to customers and potential talent in the active and passive markets. People want to work for a company that has adopted a more enjoyable work culture so you’re likely to see your direct candidate pipeline improve as you begin to strengthen your Employer Brand.
The long and short of it is, if people are enjoying where they work, they’re going to work harder, stay longer and they’ll also be able to cope better and remain calm in stressful, difficult situations. If you’re not enjoying where you work, it could be that one difficult leaseholder that calls to moan that tips you over the edge. If you’re happier, you’re less likely to be as affected by the situation. In fact, a recent study conducted by the Addison Group showed nearly 8 in 10 employees said they’re likely to begin job hunting after just one bad day on the job.
But what can you implement within your business to create an environment that will engage your people and impact staff happiness?
Ideas to Implement:
- Look at the environment itself – are there any changes you can make within your current office set up that might improve fun and creativity? E.g. – break out areas. Design your workspace around this.
- Team Building Days – encourage your team to work together to overcome current obstacles they might be facing within the office. There are a number of ideas on activities you could be doing with your team online.
- Celebrate Milestones – set incentives attached to business successes and milestones. Perhaps the team will be rewarded with lunch, or better yet, improve motivation by asking your team to brainstorm and come forward with ideas for the incentives.
- Friendly Competition – this can often lighten the mood. Coming up with weekly, monthly or quarterly challenges that employees can participate in can be a fun motivator. Again, you could take this one step further with an award for the winner(s).
- Hobby Focused Competitions – you could introduce competitions using outside resources, e.g. a baking competition.
- Internal Interaction – introduce a platform that employees can communicate with each other, both in terms of work projects but also socially. Slack is a good one to look at. 
- Morning and Afternoon Wake Up Sessions – involve your team in a “wake up” session first thing in the morning and/or after lunch to raise energy levels. This could be a group activity, 5 minute workout, dance session or mini-game.
- Pets – some employers allow their employees to bring their dogs to work and have seen an increase in staff happiness. You could limit this to once a week if needed, but it’s a simple, cost-free but effective.
- Wellbeing – host engaging workshops or activities focused around enhancing employee wellbeing. Laughing therapy is a good one to use, it could be a 10 minute group session that positively impacts morale during a stressful day.
- Ambassadors – this is one we use at Block Recruit. We have a President and Vice President of “The Ministry of Fun”. It is the President and Vice President’s job to look at what we can be doing internally to ensure people are enjoying where they work. You could perhaps give them a quarterly budget to host an event, this could be something as simple as a bowling / mini-golf tournament or team drinks on a Friday. Empower your people and reap the rewards.
Don’t forget, creating a fun work environment doesn’t need to be costly. It’s about being creative and engaging your people. Giving recognition to people’s hard work and achievements is also a major way to boost morale and employee engagement.
If you tie giving recognition to high performers into an office activity, you might be onto a winner…
For further support and more bespoke ideas on what you can be implementing, get in touch with our Client Development Manager, Zoe Southwell. 0203 900 0401


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