Having Fun is Important – Ideas to Bring Teams Together
We are all very busy people, wouldn’t you agree? Non-profit organizations especially seem to be packing more and more into their schedules, their events and their work days. It makes sense; the work non-profits are doing is so invaluable, it is worthy of timely dedication. However, all work and no play can have negative consequences including burnout, exhaustion and despondency.
At The Mattison Corp., we make a point to have fun together in the office and outside of work, and we believe there are big benefits to each. We aren’t alone. There is an official Fun at Work Day (January 28, if you’re curious), there are books on the topic, including 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work, and there is research to suggest that having fun at work can increase productivity and employee retention. And employee retention should be top of mind for any business, non-profit or not, because according to the recent Gallop study, State of the American Workplace, 51 percent of employees are looking for a new job at any time. That is more than half of all American workers; this is a stat that simply cannot be ignored.
Our positive, friendly work environment is conducive to in-office mingling and casual lunches with colleagues who have become friends. The roles we serve for our non-profit clients also catapult fun. We plan ample events, and we often support one another by attending events put on by our colleagues, even when we didn’t take part in the planning process. But, not every office has this kind of culture and tendency of employees to form real friendships. So, we wanted to offer some ideas to help get employees out of their cubicles and into conversations and activities.
- Celebrate holidays. Does your company have an annual holiday party? Probably; most do. Don’t limit celebrations to once a year. Have mini celebrations for other holidays – like an outdoor picnic for Fourth of July or a catered taco and margarita lunch for Cinco de Mayo.
- Volunteer together. If your company does not actively participate in charity events, offer to take the lead. Research some group volunteer opportunities near the office, and offer colleagues an anonymous survey for them to select the group that excites them most. Plan an afternoon out as a group. Hey, maybe your boss will let you leave work early or come in late if you participate.
- Play a sport. There are so many recreational sport leagues out there from sand volleyball to dodgeball to baseball. Pick a sport that interests you and your colleagues and start a league.
- Plan a team building day. Devise a group outing to build team morale or just have fun. Local parks may have ropes courses that would work, you could jump onboard the Escape Room trend, or you could check out a local pub’s trivia night. It might just seem like fun, but there can be substantial professional development occurring in these situations, too.
Some work environments are not conducive to conversations. Closed-off work spaces and busy schedules get in the way of everyday mingling, and can leave employees feeling like they don’t even know one another. Hopefully, no matter your office layout or industry, these ideas can get the wheels turning on how to have more fun at work and produce happier, more productive employees.