Balancing a positive internal culture can be challenging while maintaining the drive and focus you need to build your business. So how can you achieve a balance between having a happy and relaxed culture and meeting your business objectives?
Research over the last two decades has revealed the intrinsic benefits of workplace fun. Among the many benefits are boosts in productivity and motivation and a reduction in staff absenteeism. And, it seems smart companies are listening. Companies such as Twitter and Facebook are just a couple of businesses in favour of fun. Could this be one of the reasons for their success? Business analysts say it is.
It is particularly important when running a small business to ensure staff are happy and enjoying their work. This will help minimise personality differences in a small working space and help them stay motivated to do their bit to ensure your business is successful.
5 ways to create a fun work environment
- Encourage work recovery with regular breaks
Data analysed by the Draugiem Group –developers of the productivity monitoring app, DeskTime –found that workers who worked for 52 minutes followed by a 17-minute break, were in the top 10 per cent of most productive workers. Encourage your team to take regular work recovery breaks to refresh and relax their minds. When people are feeling refreshed they will naturally be happier, more focused, solve problems easier and be more creative.
- Foster socialising in and outside the workplace
Try taking your employees on working retreats, creative days and recreation days – and if possible, allow them the occasional work from home day. Social events such as parties, lunches and birthdays are great opportunities for staff to unwind, have fun and get to know each other. Group activities and team sports build social cohesion and lift team spirit, earning you big brownie points.
- Offer regular rewards
Rewarding your team for jobs well done, individually and in groups, makes them feel good and it has the added business boosting benefit of ensuring staff strive to achieve excellence. Your rewards can be as small as acknowledging achievements with trophies, certificates, or small gifts that say, “Thank you for your efforts.”
- Give small perks that mean a lot
Staff at Google are known to rave about their workplace because of the perks that make their work life more enjoyable. Perks that boost employees’ health and welfare such as free meals, on-site massages and access to gyms make it easier for your team to balance their work and playtime. But if your budget doesn’t allow for big perks, consider smaller ones such as complimentary refreshments and light snacks as well as games and gaming spaces or pet-friendly workdays. These can do wonders when it comes to making your staff feel happier.
- Finding a balance
It’s worth noting that not all studies about fun in the workplace are positive. Some show no improved productivity and others only show increased productivity when employees support the fun-focused initiatives. The take away? Employees must be willing to partake in the fun and show a level of maturity and be self-disciplined enough to bunker down when the time comes. Take these points on board and make it part of your management practices to educate your employees about appropriate behaviours before the fun begins.
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