Tuesday, July 30, 2013

10 ways to make your office more fun

Written by Miles Kohrman for FastCompany.com on July 23, 2013

Is your office sort of blah?  Are your coworkers disengaged?  Fear not, we've got some quick productivity-boosting fixes so fun that you'll forget you ever wanted to go home three hours ago.

We feel like we've been a little harsh lately. So, like, mea culpa.
Recently we've told you what not to wear to the office in the summer and the productivity-killing (smelly) lunches that you should never bring into the workplace. Sorry for the tough love, be we felt like everyone could benefit from the reminders.
Today, however, let's not focus on the negative, and instead let's talk about fun. You want to work in a fun environment. Of course you do. Who doesn't?
Just listen to Kenexa, a Pennsylvanian human resources software company that lives by a simple principle: Employees just want to have fun.
And that fun doesn't result simply in smiles and laughs--it brings a tangible increase in workplace happiness and productivity. A more enjoyable workplace makes individuals perform better, in almost every aspect of their lives.
According to Kenexa, turnover among managers who feel pride in their company is 21% lower than among those who don't. Adds the Kenyan-born, Canadian-educated CEO Rudy Karsan: "When you're in a job that you enjoy and you're good at, you're not just a better worker. You're a better spouse, a better parent, a better citizen.

So, in the spirit of pleasant workplaces everywhere, here's a compilation of fast and fun things you can do to put a smile on your coworkers' faces--and boost productivity.
It's no secret that we want an office dog at Fast Company. So far, this Pinterest board is as close as we've gotten. Meanwhile, we've written about this culture-enhancing canine desire in two previous posts, and Purina even made a video in an attempt to push us over the edge.

Office dogs can offer a huge boost to business and teach you how to work better. And let's be honest, they just make everybody happy.


We can have fun outside of the office, right?
Grabbing a few drinks after work is a great way to boost morale, and bring your team together around things that are, well, not work.
Just don't overdo it.


Everybody eats, so why not eat together, and get to know each other in the process?
You might discover a new food, or, you know, introduce yourself to somebody new.


What's that, not everybody like white walls, white ceilings, and soulless lighting?
Just because it's an office, doesn't mean it has to be an office. When you spend such a significant amount of time in one space, it's important that it reflects not only the culture of the company, but the people who make it run. (Related: Sometimes it's best to take meetings outside the office.
A nice work environement might even convince you to--gasp--look forward to work!


Read more ways to make your office more fun here.