At ROI Online, we know how to have fun — in and out of the office. In order to love your job, fun is an essential ingredient.
Most of us that have been working for a few years, or a few decades, have been there — that dark, gloomy dungeon of a workplace that sucks the soul right out of you.
Making your office more fun not only makes employees happier, but it is also proven to increase productivity and generate more creative ideas and collaboration.
In addition, creating a happy, fun work environment transfers to people’s lives outside of work as well. How many times has your SO told you off for complaining about work too much?
We all can’t work for Google or Apple (which are two of the top 50 best places to work in 2017, according to employees ), but we can all make an effort to make our office a more enjoyable place.
Did you know that the average American will spend 90,000 hours at work over their course of their life? That’s a whole lot of hours to be miserable and bitter. So how can you turn it around?
Here are 6 ways to make your office more fun, and in the long run, more productive.
1) Community Chow
Let us break bread together, or at least some Chick-n-Minis.
You always hear that eating together as a family builds relationships and sparks dialogue — the same holds true for the office. Taking the time to eat together gives colleagues a chance to get to know one another or catch up. You may even come up with some great ideas. According to Ronald Reagan, “All great change... begins at the dinner table.”
2) Creative Company Get-Togethers
There are so many ways to have fun outside of the office with your team.
ROI recently organized a night of jumping on trampolines. Some other ideas are happy hours (more on that below), movie nights and pottery painting.
3) Work Pups
Study after study has shown that bringing your dog to work can help lower stress levels and improve morale. Did it really take a bunch of scientists to figure that out? Every June for the past 16 years, there’s been a day devoted to taking your dog to work.
According to an American Pet Products Association survey, approximately 1.4 million dog owners take 2.3 million dogs to work every day.
But before you start throwing Fido’s Frisbee in the conference room, ask your boss if it’s OK. And make sure to clean up any “messes” should they occur.
“Keeping dogs with their owners while they work is a good thing for dogs and humans as long as both understand rules, boundaries and limitations,” says Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan.
We know dogs aren’t the only pets, but some animals just aren’t acceptable at the workplace. Case in point: rats. (True story, but not at ROI.)
4) Happy Hour
It’s important to socialize outside of the office. You don’t have to be BFF with your colleagues, but liking each other’s company is always nice.
Schedule a company happy hour every now and then. Kick back, relax and have a few brewskies. But remember: it’s a pace, not a race. Nobody wants to be THAT guy.
5) Desk Design
Blinding yellow fluorescent lights reflecting off stark white walls is downright depressing.
If you can’t convince your boss to switch out the headache-inducing lights, liven up your office space in other ways by framing some pictures of you and your partner or furry family member.
Don’t be ashamed to put that cheesy pencil cup from the Statue of Liberty on your desk. Your desk should represent you and inspire you, and having a token of your personal life can bring a smile to your face when stress starts to take over.
6) Dress Code
Your work may already have a Casual Friday in place, but sometimes you don’t want to wait five days to wear comfortable clothing.
Donning a structured suit or skirt and blouse every day can be restricting, but that doesn’t mean show up looking like you’re going to a pajama party. Look for comfortable fabrics that still have structure to them, and dress up an outfit with accessories.
Wearing comfy clothing doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style and professionalism.
7) Show Your True Colors
Last but not least, be yourself. Trying to be someone you’re not can be exhausting. People want to work with someone they know, and they can see through the facade.
If you lock your real self away from others, how can you expect to connect, work in concert with and succeed with your work peers? Be authentic. Your colleagues and customers will thank you. And you’ll feel much better, too.
Follow ROI Online on Instagram for more idea on how to have more fun at your office!
Editor's note: This post was originally published in October 2014. It has been updated for freshness and accuracy.
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