Integrating fun into the workplace is an unconventional way to motivate employees. In the past, managers have attempted to motivate employees with monetary bonuses, vacations, amusements park tickets, and wall plagues. These incentives worked but were only temporary forms of motivation. In recent years, corporate executives have been trying to create a more permanent form of motivation for all employees. The best way to do this is by changing the culture of the company and altering the environment. Creating a fun environment has proven to be a positive change to the companies that have tried it. Here are the some of the benefits that can be experienced by bringing fun into the workplace.
Physiological Benefits of Fun
Studies have shown that our entire body responds positively from the physical act of laughing. Laughing helps to lower blood pressure and reduced stress. It’s a fact that children laugh an average of 400 times, but by the time we become adults we only laugh an average of 15 times a day. Humor and laughter positively affect the muscular, respiratory, cardiovascular, skeletal systems, and increases endorphins. The entire body feels better when we find ways to laugh more every day.
How the Employees Benefit
You will see an improvement in the attitudes of your employees when you integrate fun into your work environment. When the environment is a fun place to work your employees will have greater morale. They will get along with their co-workers better, and be more pleasant to your customers. When the work environment is more upbeat and positive your employees will no longer nod at their desk or fall asleep in meetings. This means they will be more productive throughout the day. A fun workplace will also cause your employees to have more creative ideas. The positive changes in the office will also result in your employees clocking in on-time and they will take less sick days.
How the Company Benefit
Once you witness a change in the behavior of your employees the entire company will begin to benefit. A result of increased productivity and less sick days taken by the employees will result in fewer missed project deadlines. In addition, because employees enjoy where they work they are less likely to leave. Therefore, the company will benefit by having a reduction in employee turnover. It has also been proven that when employees are happier where they work the result is a boost in operating income by at least 19%. Happier employees are more responsive to customers and handle customer complaints better. The improved customer relations may also result in an increase in sales.
Tips for Creating a Fun Environment
After you make the decision to change your environment make an announcement to your staff. Gradually introduce fun activities at meetings, and add fun items such as nerf balls to your break room. Encourage your employees to get involved and make fun suggestions. Encourage a light hearted attitude in the office. Don’t force everyone to participate. You will have some resistance in the beginning from some employees. Your employees are used to a traditional work environment, and may not immediately take to the change. This is normal. Give them time to find their own way in this new environment and begin to freely express themselves in their own quirky ways. If you are committed to having a fun environment make it a point to hire people that would assimilate well to the fun company culture.
Lastly, when adding fun to your workplace make it clear to your employees that fun should always be appropriate. After all it’s not fun when someone feels they have been unfairly targeted. Anything that is sexual or racially motivated hurts and will have a detrimental effect on the environment.