We’ve all heard about tech giants such as Google and Facebook introducing free lunches, table football and even slides into their offices; but while traditionalists may scoff at this seemingly juvenile behaviour, it’s not just about fun and games – there are also sound business reasons for making workplaces a little more…well, fun.
An increasing number of modern managers are realising the benefits of embracing their fun side. According to a recent article on the CIPD website, today’s businesses are using ‘fun’ to combat two of the most common workplace issues: productivity and employee morale.
People management software company BrightHR and business psychology firm Roberstons Cooper recently commissioned a study entitled ‘It Pays to Play.’ The report found a strong correlation between play and productivity.
But why is this? Well, when employees have fun at work, they seem to work harder – it’s as simple as that. Fun activities included in the study ranged from regular activities such as gaming rooms and weekly massages, to more spontaneous activity. Either way, when workers had fun they worked harder for longer, and were less likely to take sick leave.
As well as their physical health, the report – which questioned SMEs throughout the UK – found that taking part in fun workplace activities improved employees’ mental health, too. It’s little wonder then that younger employees enter the jobs market feeling strongly that an element of fun is crucial for their happiness at work.
Sir Gary Cooper, psychology professor and co-author of the report, noted: “Work is no longer about getting the job done and then going home for your fun – younger generations want to enjoy their work too.”
“Businesses must decide how to deal with a multi-generational workforce and […] educate their senior leaders […] about the different expectations of Generation Y and Millennials,” he added.
Having run my own business for 27 years, I am very conscious of the change in staff work expectations both with my own employees and those we recruit for our clients. A job isn’t all about paying the bills – it’s a big part of our lifestyle. We spend a lot of time at work so it’s important that we feel like a useful part of the team in an enjoyable and rewarding environment. This has to be a win-win situation as employee satisfaction, staff retention and increased productivity all go hand in hand.
Many of our clients are already one step ahead in regards to this, particularly those with Creative Bristow. By embracing the notion of having fun – whether that’s through activities, social events, or office ‘toys’ – they have boosted office spirits and made their businesses happier places to be. Have you realised the potential of fun at work yet?
Image: Group of happy business people clapping their hands by tec_estromberg available under a CC BY 2.0 license