Transform your Office Culture from Boring to Fun
It’s a typical Wednesday afternoon. There’s paper shuffling somewhere behind you. Someone’s coughing across the room. You’ll hear chair scrapings every so often amongst the sounds of furious keyboard typing.
You’re on your own computer typing away, switching back and forth between screens to get that report done so there’s less work tomorrow. God forbid anyone should work in a place where crickets chirp louder than your own thoughts.
OK, so this sounds like a depressing exaggeration of what it’s like to work an average office job. For some offices though, this description isn’t too far off.
What kind of team would this be if you didn’t know more than first names and job positions? What company wants their employees to think of their jobs as just a job?
Here are some ways to create a workplace that will keep your coworkers/employees alive and functioning the entire time.
Get to know your Team
The Power of Networking
You’re spending 5 days a week, 9 hours on average with your coworkers or your employees. Don’t you think it’s crucial to get to know who they are?
Nowadays it’s paramount to form connections if it means you can grow yourself through your career. Networking is crucial in opening doors to opportunities and nurturing existing connections.
The more in tune you are with each other, the more comfortable everyone will be working together. You can influence each other’s work ethic, stay in sync with one another, and stimulate a culture based on performance.
Socializing builds trust and boosts morale, but it’s also the main factor in workplace happiness.
So next Friday take initiative. Instead of skipping happy hour at the end of the day, go out for a drink! Encourage each other to go out, strike up a conversation or try to find common ground.
Other Group Bonding Activities
You’re probably already considering happy hour as a form of social engagement. Drinks plus fun people equals a good time.
If you’re thinking of something different, there’s nothing better than a scavenger hunt. It’s something fun and easy to encourage participation and get them working as a team.
Another option is to get involved in a regular community service event.
This could be as simple as having everyone volunteer at a shelter every Saturday. Organize a beach cleanup once a month or read books to blind dogs.
The point is, community service brings people together inside and out of the company.
You don’t even have to go out of the office to do something fun that gets your team on the same page.
Host ‘Office Jeopardy’ or simulate a minefield to switch up the routine of work life.
Establish a Fun & Comfortable Work Environment
Repeat this mantra with me: “Happy employees equals happy business.”
Creating an environment where people can work comfortably is a key factor in growing and sustaining a business.
This not only creates a positive atmosphere but also helps to increase employee retention rates. They are not going to want to look for another job if they like the one they are currently working in.
Added bonuses include increased loyalty and positive reputation with reference to the company. An employee can spread the word about their awesome job while the company benefits from that.
Now there are options available to you when it comes to constructing an enjoyable place to work. You can:
1. Bring Pets into the Office
Here’s a tidbit of info for you: therapy animals exist for a reason.
Yup, shocker, animals are more than just cute.
Animals in the office can reduce stress levels by 11 percent for those in an office. Furthermore, research suggests that they can increase productivity by 23 percent.
They’re a calming presence and offer much-needed breaks when one becomes too overwhelmed with work.
Whether they’re two legged, four legged, furry, hairless, doesn’t matter. What matters is that they all in some way positively impact workers more so than if they didn’t have an animal.
2. Bring in Decor
Did you know that plants can reduce tension and stress by 37 percent?
According to a study done by the New University of Technology Sydney, that’s not the only thing they can do. Plants can do wonders by improving the surrounding atmosphere and improving overall well-being.
Aside from plants, there are crazy simple ways to up the atmosphere of a drab office scene.
Adding a splash of color can inspire you when you stare off into space or concentrating on bigger things.
Color adds vibrancy, depth, and transforms an environment with the emotions they convey.
Take the color green for example. Green is often associated with nature or rebirth.
For a company wanting to focus on being more eco-friendly, adding a pop of green somewhere in the office can promote that feeling.
When we discuss decor, we can’t forget about holiday decor. As corny as it is, most will agree that holiday decor is uplifting and festive. It’s a reminder that there’s something to look forward to like holiday events or family visits.
This is where the scrooges of the world scoff or offer a snide remark on the futility of such simplicity.
3. Casual Fridays
Casual Fridays are still in existence and people are saying they want to keep it that way.
Here’s the tricky thing though: some want more consistency with dress codes whereas others don’t.
Let’s get into more detail here.
There are benefits to establishing a professional dress code versus a casual dress code.
Some want professional dress codes because this can instill a professional demeanor. ‘Dress for the job you want’ as they say and if this means dressing in suits and pencil skirts then there’s nothing wrong with that.
On the other hand, some say they prefer a more casual dress code because this allows for personal freedom and physical comfort in the workplace.
Ultimately it depends on the people working for the company. This will also constitute what dress code policy a company should adopt.
The Value in Taking Breaks
Humans are not machines.
We’re not superhuman, we’re not invincible, and we’re not perfect.
We need to recharge our batteries and take breaks if we want to function at maximum efficiency.
What kind of Breaks Should you be Taking?
The point of a break is to disrupt the monotony of work. It’s a time to ease the mind off of anything work related so that you boost your energy and productivity later.
This is not an excuse to be running to the fridge because you’re giving in to what’s called ‘boredom snacking.’ This is a bad habit in the making if you don’t take charge of how you take your breaks.
Nor is it wise to take breaks only to take part in other negative activities. This includes venting about issues or tackling item number 3 on your 99 problems to fix list.
Can you think of other ways in which to spend your free time at the office?
Why Lunch is so Important
Always take advantage of that lunch break to nourish your body. Eating brain healthy items or healthy foods, in general, can help you accomplish this goal.
Make or buy something with fish that will give you your dose of omega 3 for the day. Snack on dark chocolate or nuts that have a plethora of antioxidants.
Is that new latte calling your name? Try a new drink or order something you wouldn’t normally think to get.
Think of lunch as a reward for all the work you’ve been doing before.
A long lunch means help in boosting concentration later throughout the day. It’s less likely you’re going to get reeled in by Instagram ads or YouTube videos if you spend lunch away from work.
Yoga & Meditation
If you don’t have the time or resources to do yoga at a nearby studio, try it at your desk. Get your desk-buddy to do it with you.
Sitting for long periods of time can strain your body and unless you see a chiropractor, this problem can only get worse.
Yoga and meditating help to clear the mind and filter out any negative tension you may be feeling. Simple desk poses can ease body tension so you can spend more time focusing on work and less on discomfort.
Take a Break with your pet
We’re bringing it back to the pets. They’re a huge stress reliever and serve as a much-needed distraction from daily tasks.
Most people would think of bringing their dog or cat to work and if so, this is a great chance to take them out for a walk and get some air. (Yes, cats can go for walks too)
In relation to breaks, it helps to know how to prioritize your time efficiently so you’re able to take that long break.
What some can finish in two weeks would take others twice as long to finish. If you like your to-do lists then it might help to categorize it based on three things:
1. How important is this task compared to everything else on your to-do list?
2. By when must you finish this task?
3. How long will it take you?
This can help you manage your day accordingly and get everything done on time.
Liven Up The Atmosphere To Foster A Positive Work Space
Every office has a vibe.
There’s a noticeable ambiance and anyone who claims otherwise doesn’t spend enough time in the workplace.
So we already touched base on how to create a fun and comfortable workspace by getting to know your team and visually sprucing the place up.
At this point let’s dive in deeper. Creating a positive atmosphere in the office is more than adding a few plants and bringing in Nerf guns.
A lot of it has to do with how you interact with your team and coworkers.
And sure, team bonding is a great way to socialize and get to know your team. But socializing with someone is different than working with them.
Socializing with your team sets the foundation for a positive atmosphere. And creating a positive atmosphere at work requires a structure between you and those you work with.
Consider this the ABC’s of creating and sustaining a positive workspace that will help liven up your quiet and dreary office.
1. Ask For Respect And Give It In Return
Pull your own weight and don’t be the one to hold everyone back. This is often the case when there is a lack of effort on one’s part.
When the quality of your work affects the way someone else does their job, then you’re obligated to put some effort into what you do.
If your coworkers have to take time away from their work to pick up the slack, it shows that you don’t respect their time
And if everyone has to work twice as hard to compensate for a lack of effort, say good-bye to the good vibes in the office.
2. Be Supportive And Encouraging
A lot can be said here and what it means for the ambiance in an office.
What does it mean to be supportive? Can you say ‘Good Job!’ every once in a while and have that count as being supportive?
Well, not exactly. Being supportive and encouraging requires more work than that.
One way to go about this is to be actively involved with your team.
In other words, don’t be a stranger. Go ahead and recognize each other’s hard work once in a while.
Motivating your team to do their best is always conducive to a positive atmosphere.
You can even liven it up once in a while by engaging in random acts of kindness.
What if someone were to come up to you and offered to buy you lunch? You’d be in a pretty good mood, right?
It’s the little things that can make someone’s day and you never know when your desk buddy might need a pick-me-up.
Plus, unless you’re a total downer, doing a good thing makes you feel good. So now you’re in a good mood, your desk mate is in a good mood, everyone is in a good mood!
3. Clear Communication
OK, so we mentioned two ways that you can liven up the workspace by being supportive and respectful. Now how do we keep it that way?
The answer lies in keeping a clear line of communication with everybody in the office.
Adopt a philosophy of transparency. Be honest and don’t hold anything back. The good, the bad, the ugly, let it all out.
Tiptoeing around issues is just about the worst thing you can do in any case. When you address any issues right away, the outcome is better than if you were to avoid it altogether.
Trust is also key to maintaining a positive workspace. It’s a two way street between employees and managers.
You want to be direct and concise with each other.
As a manager be clear on what’s expected from your team. As an employee, be clear on where you stand with your duties and the progress of your work.
This way you can liven up the office in a way that matters most. Create a positive workplace culture, and you create positive energy that flows through the entire office.
So what did we learn today folks?
Right, we learned how to create a fun and stimulating work environment! This will not only ramp up productivity, but it will motivate employees more than money or deadlines ever could.
The workplace is meant for people to come together and get things done. Switch the game up and make 9 to 5 a time to get work done without making it feel like work.
So relax, buy some plants, hang out with your coworkers, and silence the cricket chatter once and for all.
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