Recent research shows that having (a little) fun in the workplace can significantly improve productivity and performance. It must be said that the workplace must not be turned into a circus, but with the right balance of work and fun your workplace will develop a positive culture, boost morale and motivation, build relationships, enhance satisfaction and loyalty, and ultimately increase performance.
Many companies assign a Social Committee, a group of employees in charge of the recreational and fun activities that happen at the office to encourage employees to participate; however this can become costly. So, how do you make fun activities on a budget?
Here are a few ideas:
Outdoor events – Any outdoor event is fun, healthy and cheap! Organize a soccer or volleyball tournament or dedicate 45 minutes to run a yoga class in a nearby park.
Charity events – Small costs and good causes!
Organize a bake sale and send proceeds to charity. This way everyone can enjoy a treat at a small cost and feel good about contributing to a good cause.
Another idea could be organizing a “garage sale”. Advise everyone in the company/department to bring items they no longer need and display them either in the kitchen or common room. Other coworkers can purchase the items and all the proceeds will go to the charity, as well as any unsold items.
Organize a Food Drive: divide up in teams and bring food items; the team with most items wins a small prize.
Volunteer together! Whether it involves painting fences, assisting in a community run event or picking up garbage, volunteering will increase collaboration among team members and will help your company’s reputation as well.
FOOD FOOD FOOD – Everyone likes food! Organize potlucks – advise everyone to bring in a dish (if you have a diverse workforce, employees can bring a dish from their culture).
Ice Cream Bar: Nothing is more refreshing on a summer day than a creamy ice cream at work. Buy big buckets of ice cream, set up cups, scoops and toppings on the kitchen table and voila!
Fun Facts and Newsletters – The only investment you make is time. Encourage everyone to write an article for the monthly or quarterly newsletters and appoint someone to assemble it together. This a great way to gather news from other departments or branches and to encourage participation. Moreover, you can keep it as simple as sending out a fun fact or a trivia question every week and use it as a conversation starter.
Fun Awards (for doing something good or something silly) – Make up some nomination slips so that any staff member can nominate a colleague for doing something good. Have a box in your staff area to put the nominations in. Draw one nomination out each week and that person gets the award. Type up all the nominations and display them in the staff area as a “Hall of Fame”.
Remember, there is no one way to have fun: every organization is different and the activities you may opt for will vary based on the company’s culture and employee diversity.
You may also like “How to Handle Office Conflict.”
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by Sandra Stephan, Employer Liaison, Agilec Monthly Blogger