Happiness and fun is something we seek naturally in our personal lives but sometimes we forget that it deserves a place in the workplace as well. Numerous studies suggest that happy people are productive people and happiness at its most basic level can inspire and motivate. However work is called “work” for a reason; on the one hand, all work and no play may make Jack a dull boy, but all play and no work will create a very unproductive work environment. So in reality, it’s all about finding the balance between the two.
Injecting the fun back into an office can be slightly more difficult than it may appear at the outset. Fun can mean many different things to a variety of people and what is fun for a 20-something member of your team may not resonate with someone who is in the 50+ age bracket. It is worth speaking to your team to see what their idea of fun might be. Forcing someone to join in with an event that they may not want to participate in will defeat the exercise entirely. A recent study on Mandatory Fun by the University of Pennsylvania illustrated that fun will only be heightened when a person has agreed to participate in it in the first instance.
Sometimes it is just that your workforce may have forgotten how to have fun because of a busy workload; deadlines and important projects can do that. To make sure your day is a happier one can be relatively easy. Simple things like taking some time out to refocus, working smarter not harder and renewing your inspiration in what you are doing, can enable you to be happier in your career. It’s not always about creating large social events – it might just be a case of organising a simple morning tea in the middle of a hectic week to allow you all to breathe, at least momentarily.
Having a good rapport with your colleagues can help enormously when it comes to job satisfaction. Seeing someone snowed under is a great opportunity to assist and show them that you have their back in a particularly busy time.
While many companies go out of their way to enforce fun in their office environment, note that what works for a company like Google might not work for your team. A lunch or a little ‘excursion’ like walking across the Harbour Bridge may be all that is necessary – but you will never know unless you ask.
A happy team can be a powerful tool in your leadership belt allowing you to achieve positive results in your bottom line and quality of life for those working under your leadership (you included). Work may be work, but it doesn’t have to be hard – to the contrary. A good injection of fun can make all the difference in everyone’s day.