No matter how much a person loves their job, if it’s the same thing every day, it may leave them looking for something more exciting. A bit of fun in the office helps keep employees satisfied and thriving in their work environment. As an added benefit, studies show coworkers that have fun together show an increase in productivity, and a greater sense of company loyalty. Read on to discover ideas for fun office games, and other ways to promote play and a relaxed culture at work.
1. Get an office pet or two
A 2017 survey by BANFIELD™ discovered that 88 percent of employees surveyed said having a pet at work increased well-being. Pets are also an excellent way to promote conversations between coworkers, and 83 percent of survey takers said office pets helped reduce stress. Taking care of office pets also brings employees closer together, building a sense of togetherness and loyalty. Make taking care of the pet, or pets, an inclusive activity. Alternate the daily responsibilities to create a united care front and promote cooperation. Animals make people laugh with their antics, and can make a bad day seem better.
2. Recognize and celebrate milestones and special occasions
Celebrating important milestones like birthdays, retirements, or promotions improves company culture by showing employees recognition. Occasional luncheons don’t have the same impact that a personal celebration does because they don’t appear genuine examples of personal recognition or appreciation. Create a recognition program that honors employees who make a difference in your company and rewards them. On special occasions like a birthday celebration, give a greeting or thank-you card with real expressions of how the employee has affected the company. Encourage coworkers to do more than just sign the card by sharing how the person being recognized has boosted morale, resolved an issue, or went above and beyond on a project.
3. Promote healthy competition
Collaborate with your team to develop ideas for healthy competitive events and get suggestions for prizes. Choose teams at random to avoid office clique behavior and encourage employees to talk to coworkers they might not interact with otherwise. Consider using a list of larger prizes like office luxuries that will benefit everyone. Examples of items include gourmet coffee makers and free coffee, or a pizza party once a month for the department. Send a survey around the office to pick three or four items they’d love to add to the office from a list of budget friendly choices. The team that wins gets to pick one item from the list of voted on items.
4. Encourage communal lunches
Eating in at your desk has a negative impact on creativity and increases stress and anxiety. Organizing potlucks, pizza parties, and group trips to restaurants encourages communal eating among employees, and gives them reasons to interact that don’t center on work. Try to keep conversations about the office out of the equation altogether for a true break from workloads and deadlines. Time spent away from the desk helps employees refocus and redirect their energy.
5. Provide fun and engaging activities
Playing games at work is an excellent way to provide a mini escape from computer screens and paperwork. Foster a fun company culture by providing board games, adult coloring books, word and number puzzles, or even video games for office use during breaks. Break up a long day with fun office games like tug o’ war, or inflate a beach ball and see how long you can keep it off the ground.
6. Allow your employees to decorate their workspace
People are more relaxed and happy when surrounded by personal items. Plants, photos, or personalized coffee mugs are just some ways employers can allow employees to re-energize, and put a smile on their face. Respectful motivational or comedic posters, candy dishes, or the ability to choose unique furniture can also provide a small personal touch to cubicles and offices. Having a bit of home at work can help reduce stress and remind employees what they are working for.
7. Take it outside
Providing a view other than office or cubicle walls produces incredible results. Holding meetings in fresh, open air and sunshine increases endorphins, and has a positive effect on productivity and brainstorming. Add a fun office game related to the goal of a meeting to encourage new ideas, laughter, and cooperation, and take a step toward improving the work atmosphere.
Remember to keep office competition lighthearted and develop games and activities that make everyone feel comfortable when participating. If someone doesn’t want to play, respect their choice but never quit trying to involve them, or ask them what games they enjoy playing and go from there.