By Rick Geiger
Have you heard? People are dancing at work. Dancing! And, no, I don’t mean on Broadway (though, yes, they are still dancing there, too). I’m talking about accountants, recruiters, customer service reps, even computer programmers. Working men and women in high-rises and office parks all over the world are fleeing their cubicles at designated times throughout the day and shuffling off to get their groove on. It’s kind of crazy. And fun. And surprisingly beneficial. It’s all about making the workplace fun and – believe it or not – more productive.
Turns out, happy and healthy employees are more productive employees. The connection has not always been so obvious to everyone. But thanks to recent research, the idea is catching on in a major way. “Happiness seems to motivate greater effort,” says Dr. Eugenio Proto of the University of Bristol, “increasing output without affecting its quality and thus boosting productivity.” That’s a fancy way to say there’s good reason to make the workplace fun.
“But how?” you ask. “Do we shake our groove things?” Well, yes, by all means! But that’s not the only way. Here are a few outstanding suggestions from around the web that will help you find your Happy Place in the workplace.
This is sort of foundational. PsychologyToday.com has a great piece on just how beneficial breaks are to employees’ well-being and performance. Bottom line, if you want people to do stuff well, let them periodically stop doing stuff. Makes sense, right?
Make a Fun Zone
Mark Panay with Contactzilla says to make a games area to draw workers away from their screens. I suggest calling it a Fun Zone. Whatever you call it, the point is to get your employees up, up, and away. “If you’re not offering your team something fun to do,” Panay says, “they’ll probably take their breaks at their screens, which kinda defies the point.” So, whether it’s pool or ping pong or foosball or darts, there is a myriad of ways to make the workplace fun and productive.
AllBusiness.com suggests creating a Fun Squad. As the name suggests, it’s a team of co-workers “whose job is to dream up ways to bring lighthearted fun into the office.” Sounds fun!
Contrary to popular belief, fun in the workplace is not an oxymoron—or it doesn’t have to be. In fact, research has shown that helping people find their Happy Place in the workplace is good for people and businesses alike. So, get out there and get your groove on!