It’s International Fun At Work day, but what’s the best way to have fun in the office? Or have an office that’s fun?
I remember working in an office where management put up a poster announcing a date for a ‘Spontaneous #FunDay‘ – which rather seemed to be missing the point. You can’t make people have fun, but you can give it a chance to happen if you create an environment where happiness and having a good time are valued.
The hardest yet most rewarding sort of fun, Rubin says this is about learning and mastering something. Maybe it’s golf or perhaps it’s pottery, but you’re doing something, learning a skill and getting better at it.
You’re meeting up with people and building memories and sharing experiences, perhaps going out to dinner with friends or heading off on a family trip. It isn’t as challenging as the first type of fun, you’re not doing something in the same way, but it’s still enjoyable.
The clue is in the name. You’re not having to learn a new skill or having to check diaries and dates with other people. Pull up a chair, put your feet on the desk and relax. This is the ‘least’ rewarding sort of fun, but it’s still enjoyable.
If you want to create a work environment that’s conducive to fun, whether that’s just for one day or all year round, give staff a chance to experience the different types that Rubin talks about. Here are some ideas to get you started…
Get out the Games
To give people a challenge and a skill to learn, why not hook up a games console to your boardroom TV for some FIFA, or fill said boardroom with board games? You could set up inter-department leagues and or even have boys versus girls competitions (which, inevitably, the girls will win – I hope they remember to be magnanimous in victory.) At the very least, every office should have a couple of packs of cards. Poker anyone?
A Shared Meal
Pick one lunchtime which can’t be moved for meetings and get everyone to down tools and share a meal. You can order from a local takeaway and set up a folding table, so you can sit around it and enjoy the experience together – no eating while huddled over your desk. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you could even make one of your favourite dishes to share.
A Mocktail Bar and a One-Shelf Library
For relaxation, why not dedicate one of the office bookshelves to free paperbacks that people can borrow? Once everyone in the office has read them, you can replenish the stock with new novels and donate the old ones to charity. And what goes better with a book than a cocktail? Set up a mocktail bar at the office so that people can enjoy a drink without getting tipsy.
Remember, it’s not about having fun on just one day – it’s about working in an environment where impromptu ideas and spontaneity become part of everyday life.
How would you get the office to take part in the three levels of fun? Let us know in the comments.