Games, fun, joy—sometimes these aren’t exactly what’d you associate with the workplace. But why not? We spend so much time at work. Shouldn’t it also be important to let off some steam, laugh, and have fun with your coworkers?
In this article, we will discuss why having fun at work is important.
1. Happy Employees Are Healthier
As we grow up, work takes over our routine and most parts of our lives. This not only makes us dull but also leads to stress and other health issues.
A study found that UK businesses lose 6.9 days a year per employee because of absenteeism, at an estimated cost of £554 per employee. (Source)
Happy employees who have fun at work are more likely to avoid the negative effects of stress and anxiety. As an organization, it is your job to make sure your employees are having fun at the workplace.
When companies prioritize employees’ happiness, especially combined with career development, the result is a more positive work environment, and subsequently, successful employees. Employers are now using wellness programs and various activities to increase employee engagement and to become an employer of choice.
SnackNation holds a “Crush It Call” every Friday. Their entire team gathers around in a circle and they go around the room calling out someone whose work they want to recognize (“someone who “crushed it” that week).
If your workers are generally healthier, then they’ll take less time off due to sickness. Introduce more fun activities and wellbeing initiatives into your workplace.
2. Having Fun Improves Communication and Collaboration
If your employees are having fun, they will communicate and collaborate better. It’s an effective way of improving the emotional quotient of your employees.
Enjoying time with colleagues in a relaxed and fun environment encourages honest and open discussion and trust in one another. If employees are friends with the people they work with, instead of simply being colleagues, they’ll work better together and communicate more effectively.
Research has revealed that employees with friends at work are twice as likely to be engaged than those without friends at work.
We’re more likely to ask for help and advice from people we like and trust. Being friends with our co-workers breaks down the barriers that normally prevent us from reaching out, especially when we’re afraid of looking foolish. Not hesitating to ask questions helps us save time, avoid costly mistakes, and improve our skills.
Introduce games and icebreaker activities to understand each other’s traits, likes, dislikes, and strengths.
3. Fun Breeds Creativity
Social ‘play’ is a vital part of healthy creative development. Young children often learn best when they are playing, and that principle also applies to adults.
As we grow up, we pursue almost similar tasks every day of our lives. We have a fixed routine where we head to the office and do the same jobs repeatedly. Over time, the potential for creativity and innovation reduces, and out-of-the-box ideas hardly ever see the light of the day.
When teams are having fun, they become more creative and open-minded. Our brains secrete the happy hormones that are more likely responsible for good ideas and innovative solutions.
When there’s fun in the air, people imagine more and stimulate better conversation. Research shows individuals with a positive mindset are 31% more creative than those with a negative mindset – or even a neutral one.
You can create creative culture by injecting fun initiatives into employees’ daily lives. Challenges and problem-solving exercises in the form of competitions are an effective way to increase innovation within the workforce.
4. Having Fun Makes Employees More Productive
A study by the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy found that happier employees are more productive by an average of 12% and, in some cases, up to 20% more than a control group.
If you’ve underestimated fun, chances are you’re also neglecting productivity. If your employees are sad and gloomy, they feel less motivated to do a task.
On the other hand, happier employees are far more productive and sharp. While there might be occasional lows in everybody’s lives, organizations should make an effort to lift their employees’ spirits with fun activities.
Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, says that
“There is good evidence that if you allow employees to engage in something they want to do, (which) is playful, there are better outcomes in terms of productivity and motivation.”
5. Increase In Commitment and Job Satisfaction
Who doesn’t love to work at a place that makes them happy? Most employees remain dissatisfied with their jobs because there is way too much stress at their workplace. This results in monotony in life and ultimately lower motivation levels.
Remember, employees are the backbone of your organization and until they feel satisfied and content, they will not be able to deliver their best.
When your employees have fun at the workplace, the air is filled with different energy where people want to give their best to a task. This promotes the exchange of ideas and better collaborations. Ultimately, it leads to job satisfaction and a healthy atmosphere.
The article was originally published at Springworks Blog