Why Fun at Work is Important

30th November 2020

“People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing” – Dale Carnegie.

The benefits of a positive work environment on engagement, wellbeing and productivity are well known, yet despite this, we are still slightly uncomfortable with the concept of having fun at work.

It’s a common perception that fun is something that happens outside of work hours and could potentially detract from our concentration, accuracy and take time away from our daily work tasks.

As a result, managers often try to micromanage fun or limit it in a way that results in it being no fun at all.

But, fun at work matters and here’s why.

The happiness advantage

“Where people aren’t having any fun, they seldom produce good work” – David Oglivy

Fun at work is a key element of employee happiness, a sense of fun helps people to have a more positive mind-set, enjoy higher levels of wellbeing and better mental health.

Organisations with higher levels of employee wellbeing report lower levels of absenteeism, presenteeism, and work related errors.[1]

Research has shown that happy people tend to be healthier, more inspired, productive and satisfied in their job.[2]

A study into the energising effect of humour found that people who were exposed to humour were more persistent and better able to complete tasks.[3]

Participants who were shown a comedy video right before doing a task experienced a 12% performance boost.

People with a positive mind-set perform better in the face of a challenge, this attitude has been dubbed the happiness advantage.

Meta-analysis of 225 academic studies found that happy employees have, on average, 31% higher productivity.[4]

Fun encourages communication and collaboration

“If work isn’t fun you’re playing on the wrong team” – Frank Sonnenberg

Collaboration is essential to productivity, project execution, innovation and company performance.

Almost all employees that are connected collaborate at some level, with nearly two thirds (63%) of knowledge workers stating they collaborate multiple times a day.[5]

Fun is a great way to achieve better collaboration and communication across an organisation.

It’s easier and more enjoyable to collaborate with people you are friendly with compared to working with people you regard as simply colleagues or worse, enemies.

Positive interactions and enjoying time with coworkers in a social way helps build trust and encourages open communication.

Having fun together is a great way for your people to learn more about one another, to understand each other’s traits, strengths, weaknesses and boundaries.

This knowledge will enable colleagues to work better together and communicate more effectively.

Enjoying fun together helps build a sense of belonging and reduce feelings of isolation, which is particularly important now due to the pandemic restrictions and home working.

Make space for fun

The first thing to remember about fun is that it cannot be forced, people have to be in the mood, which is hard to do if they are feeling stressed, anxious and exhausted at work.

A good starting point is to assess ways you can reduce the unnecessary un-fun things that impact productivity, waste time, or drain your people’s motivation.

Give your people a voice and way to communicate openly with you directly, and each other, about how you can improve their daily experience and support their wellbeing.

Enable your people’s real-time feedback to help guide you towards the most effective decisions that will really boost their mood, motivation and overall work experience.

By streamlining processes and reducing work stressors your people will be more open and able to benefit from having more fun at work.

So, what are the next steps you can take to start adding more fun to your workplace?

Create opportunities to socialise outside of work

Due to Covid-19 social distancing restrictions most of us are limited in what we can do as a team for fun. Now is a great team for leaders to set up virtual events outside of work hours for people to socialise and bond.

It’s important that you make these events optional so that people don’t feel pressured to participate. Using a number of online tools you can set up a whole host of events.

Here are some ideas to get your started:

  • Online trivia quiz – there are some great tools out there such as AhaSlides, Typeform, myQuiz that you can use with your teams
  • Virtual cocktail/ mocktail hour
  • Setup a weekly group coffee break to allow everyone to catch up
  • Jointly do online personality tests e.g. the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator helps people to understand what type of team player they are, which can help people to work together more effectively

Online events are a great way to spark dialogue and for people to get to know each other better. They are also a great way to bring people together as a team and to combat feelings of loneliness that some of your people may be feeling as a result of Covid-19.

How Trickle can help

The real-time dynamic nature of Trickle facilitates natural, open, two-way dialogue between you and your people. With your people’s direct feedback you will be able to be more responsive and identify opportunities to achieve quick wins to improve your people’s work experience.

Managers can post trickles to the platform to actively seek feedback and gauge people’s thoughts on fun activities. With its optional anonymity feature, your people can use Trickle to feed back what they really feel about your suggestions and help direct you towards the right solutions.

Trickle is a quick and open way to bring everyone’s sentiments together in one place, which will result in actionable information that produces measurable outcomes.

Trickle takes the guesswork out of how you can support your people to inject more fun into their day and generally improve their overall experience of being part of your organisation.

To find out how Trickle can help you add more fun to your organisation, get in touch for more information or to book a short 20 minute demo.

Alternatively you can trial Trickle absolutely free for 30-days, simply visit: https://trickle.works/freetrial/

 

 

[1] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/magazine/happiness-stress-heart-disease/

[2] https://www.ciphr.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Social-Market-Foundation-Publication-Briefing-CAGE-4-Are-happy-workers-more-productive-281015.pdf

[3] https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10869-014-9396-z

[4] https://hbr.org/2012/01/positive-intelligence

[5] https://www.alfresco.com/sites/www.alfresco.com/files/dimesional-research-collab-survey-findings-report-082415.pdf

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