In the past, fun was seen as an impediment to productivity. When employees are having fun, they are visibly not working. Many employers saw fun as something to be limited, kept out of work hours, even punished.
The human element prevails, however. People want to have fun, they strive to incorporate more fun into their lives, and they see fun as rewarding. Fun isn’t something that needs to be relegated to certain times; incorporating fun into work can benefit an organization.
1. Happy Employees Are Less Likely to Miss Work
Employees that are having fun look forward to coming to work, so you are less likely to see employees “play hooky” when they truly enjoy their jobs. Employees that express happiness and satisfaction with their job also tend to be healthier, which may result in fewer absences due to ailments. Fewer missed work days can have a positive impact on the team and may even benefit the bottom line.
2. Fun Can Improve Productivity
When you think about it, it makes sense that employees that are happy are more motivated and more productive than employees that are sad, bored, or otherwise unhappy. A study done by the University of Warwick’s Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy confirms this, showing that participants that were happy were more productive by 12 percent on average.
While fun activities can take time out of the work day and decrease hours spent on work measurably, productivity may increase to account for or exceed this missed time. This can be used as a motivational tool by allowing employees to engage in fun after hitting certain goals.
3. Your Company Will Become More Attractive
Companies that treat their employees well are more attractive to job seekers and even prospective customers. People feel good about interacting with a company where employees love their job and say they have fun working. When employees genuinely express enjoyment at going to work, others want to participate in that and see if they can glean the same meaningful experiences.
4. People Learn Better When Having Fun
Training exercises that are enjoyable to participants are better received and more engaging than training exercises delivered in a quiet, lecture-style setting. When learners are having fun, retaining information and processing new information becomes effortless. When team settings are used, learners may also form bonds with coworkers that can extend beyond training.
5. Creativity is Fostered by Fun
Fun stimulates imagination, which can assist with adaptation, problem solving, and other areas where creativity is needed. When employees are able to break away from the daily hum of work tasks and give their minds a rest, it can allow them to view problems with a fresher perspective.
How to Make Your Workplace More Fun
It‘s not as easy as it seems to introduce genuine fun into a workplace. Outings and activities that are planned can seem forced. Gamifying training and goals can be a step in the right direction, but may seem cheesy if they aren’t kept up to date or lined up well with real productivity markers.
Instead of creating mandatory “fun” events, here are some real ways you can infuse fun into the workplace:
- Allow flexibility in schedules
- Set up a game room and let employees use it at will
- Invite employees to events after work hours
- Throw office parties for different seasons
- Allow pets into the office
- Encourage socialization between employees