We all know that work can be a drag sometimes. It’s work after all—it’s something we all have to do and it takes up most of our waking hours every Monday to Friday (if we’re lucky) and is set on an endlessly repeating loop. It can be stressful, the routine can get boring, and it can be hard to actually want to go to work at times.
Can a workplace even be fun, then? Is that concept antithetical to doing your job? It doesn’t have to be! In fact, as an HR professional, your role in making your workplace more fun and relaxed can bring some fun to your own job.
Hone your corporate culture
Your workplace should always be a reflection of your company’s values and ethos—you can’t compromise your corporate identity just for the sake of being loose, relaxed place to work. That being said, that doesn’t mean your corporate culture has to necessarily be stuffy and rigid either.
Start with an eye for aesthetics—maybe some redecorating could be done to make your work spaces more pleasing to the eye. Add some color, install some art, and make the place sing with the colors and imagery that your company brand employs.
Then add some personality. If the office is appropriate for it and allergies aren’t a problem, an office pet is always a nice perk. Got an extra meeting room that never gets used? Perhaps a game room or a café-themed group room could be just the right addition.
These are all just examples—only you know what strikes the right balance of fun and professional. Whatever you add to the workplace needs to be in service of the culture you’re trying to foster in your office.
Break up the monotony
The thing which most often drags people down during a workday is the routine of it all. Start with the time-sensitive tasks, move on to other work, and hope that lunch or the end of the day comes before you completely lose your focus.
To help perk up tired or bored minds in the office, use on-site events to break up the tedium. Google, for example, uses quick challenges or puzzles to keep their employees engaged and sharp. Many places have periods of the day or exercise, calisthenics, or yoga.
Better yet, give your employees surprises. A simple means is by providing a communal lunch every so often or having a mid-afternoon coffee break with some entertainment or a guest speaker. Ask your employees for suggestions and use the best ones as an unexpected treat later on in the month or year.
Outings are a great way for employees to bond without the specter of work looming over them, but they’re not for everybody. Happy hours are a good example—they can be a great source of camaraderie but they can be excluding to those who don’t want to go to a bar and always have the unfortunate potential of someone having one too many. A helpful hint: if you’re going to have an employee happy hour, make sure it’s at a venue with plenty of food.
But, off-site perks don’t have to be limited to a five o’clock cocktail. Think about fun events or field trips to do on a half-day Friday. Use the resources around your office in your town or city for ideas—maybe try a trip to the ballpark during the summer or a picnic in nature during the springtime. And a couple times a year, have big company-wide events like an Office Olympics.
However you choose to do so, infusing some fun in the workplace not only keeps your employees happier during the workday, it also boosts your ability to retain them and attract new talent to your company. And on top of all that, you may find that you like your own job even better as a result.
Want to have the time to run your business and work on improving or defining your culture? Contact us to learn more about what partnering with Paycor can do.
Sources: Fast Company, Inc., Entrepreneur.com
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