If you would’ve told me that working remotely would be as prevalent and accepted as it is today, I wouldn’t have believed you.
Sure, the concept whole working from anywhere was already increasing in popularity steadily but not in my wildest dreams would I have thought that it would be the ‘norm’, let alone a necessity, across the globe.
Yet, here we are…
Most of us have been working from home or remotely, for the past year and while we may have picked up a few tips along the way that helped us to stay motivated, perhaps some of us are feeling the monotony of it all.
The good news is that as someone who has her fair share of working in the office as well as working remotely, I found that there are plenty of ways that we can infuse more fun into our working hours.
Truth be told, the more ‘play time’ we have at work, the more likely we’ll be able to increase the joy we get from work and the more likely you’ll look forward to showing up with a smile on your face day in and day out!
This is why, on this post, I’m sharing some practical and easy to apply suggestions that I have found to be effective in elevating fun while we’re on the clock.
As a great bonus, these tips have also helped me to establish genuine relationships at work. I hope that they too will help make your work days a whole lot more fun and enjoyable!
Have Team Movie Sessions
I am a proud entertainment (movies & TV shows) fiend and this is something that even the people at work know all too well about me.
For the past couple of years, as my job allows me to work from home office or basically anywhere I want in the world, I am even able to watch movies and TV shows as I work!
That said, I know my limits and I won’t have the TV or iPad on when I’m in a meeting or tackling a task that requires much focus and/or brain power.
However, I’m someone who absolutely despises mundane tasks (think data entry and reports) so having entertainment on in the background while I do these menial tasks keeps me motivated. It adds a bit of fun to something that I would otherwise procrastinate on.
As Tim Ferris, a personal development ‘guru’ said, “If you‘re serious all the time, you’ll wear out before the truly serious stuff gets done”
And yes, I am aware that this tip is probably not for everyone. So if having a TV show or movie on while you work ends up being more of a distraction rather than a motivation for you, maybe what you can do is to play your favorite music playlist.
Alternatively, you can host a team/ office movie session every week. This can easily be done virtually or, if you’re already back in the office, in person with a small group of colleagues.
You can take turns selecting the movies – this type of activity may just encourage bonding time over similar movie genres and/or mutual interests!
Integrate Games into Your Meetings
Working remotely has many advantages, but it also comes with a couple of drawbacks. When it comes to meetings, for example, we definitely have to put in that extra effort to make it as fruitful (and fun) as possible.
It sounds counterintuitive but I found that including games to team meetings can effectively increase both productivity and fun as it encourages all participants to be engaged instead of staying silent or acting as a spectator.
My team and I particularly love ‘Conference Call Bingo’.. which you guessed it, is inspired by the good ol’ Bingo. The idea is simple, by using a Google Drive file, insert phrases that are frequently said during team calls or meetings into the boxes (instead of numbers) and assign a color to each team member. Whoever fills out the tiles all in a row (diagonal, vertical, or horizontal) first, wins!
Is Conference Call Bingo is not your cup of tea? Don’t fret – there are plenty of other team building game ideas you can try instead.
One of the biggest reasons why I love my job is that I don’t only consider my team members as mere colleagues, I genuinely consider them as my friends.
While it’s true that building relationships at work can take work in the short-term, in the long run, they are certainly worth it. In fact, studies show that having a positive working environment can lead to increased productivity.
Author of ‘Vital Friends’, Tom Rath even found that people with at least a ‘best friend’ at work may be up to 7 times more engaged than those who don’t.
Moreover, cultivating work friendships have been found to increase the level of satisfaction, teamwork, and even fewer days of leave due to illness (sick leaves).
Celebrate small wins together
One thing that is sure to make you feel inundated at your job is when you feel as if work is just an endless uphill climb of goals to achieve.
Whether it’s meeting your sales quota or surpassing your quarterly ROI (Return on Investments), when it comes to goals, though they initially can act as motivation, if we don’t take the time to pause and celebrate our ‘wins’, can end up becoming demotivating.
So, take the time to stop and take in the little milestones – no matter how trivial it may be. Go out and have a drink together and take the time to look back at how far you’ve already come.
Acknowledging your achievements as a team also helps to increase a sense of camaraderie which plays a crucial role in maintaining motivation and keeping your eyes on the goals together – even when the going gets tough – make it a whole lot easier.
Schedule Regular Team Building Meetings
I don’t know about you but it appears to me that the phrase ‘team building’ gets quite a bit of ‘bad rep’ in the professional world. Perhaps it’s because, in many companies around the globe, it ends up being more of a ‘burden’ than the fun event it’s meant to be.
Personally, I’ve had (and continue) to have great experiences in team building meetings and workshops and I found it to be effective – particularly for remote workers.
For me, the secret lies in that it should be informal and focused on fun. ‘Shop’ talk or mentions of anything about work should be kept to a minimum – if any.
Keep in mind that the purpose of a team building meeting is to strengthen trust and enable all team members to see their peers in a personal light – as a human being or possibly a friend – not just as their colleague.
To do this, play games that enable each participant to take a peek into everyone else’s’ lives beyond work – Games that would shed a light on their interests, hopes, dreams, fears, and so forth.
By shedding a light into our personal lives, we enable each other to invest in a deeper relationship which in turn will create a strong bond and positive working environment that will elevate the level of satisfaction and minimize stress in the workplace!
There you have it, these are just some of the many ways that you can infuse more fun at work. Be sure to give them a try!
I hope that they will be as effective for you as they are for me and my team in creating a working environment that you’re more than happy to be a part of.