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The UPS Store Small Business blog
  • 01 June 2021
  • Jelani Markus 

Smart Ideas to Have Fun at Work in 2021

Is fun at work possible? Is a fun workplace a good thing for your business? A vast number of employers and employees think that fun at work is an incredibly valuable factor when making a career-choice. If you could find a way to improve productivity, boost morale and positively increase business results while you and your staff enjoy the time you spend together, would you do it? 

lady on her laptop video waiving and smiling

If your answer is yes, here are a few ideas on how to cultivate fun at work and create a more enjoyable work environment for your team. 
Recognize the benefits of worktime fun 
You can’t be an effectively fun leader if you don’t believe it is beneficial to have fun at work. But the proof is out there. When you are dedicated to creating an environment that your employees enjoy being a part of, the result is typically more engaged and diligent work. Workplace fun can be linked to enhanced motivation, increased productivity, stress reduction, higher job satisfaction and improved performance. It’s incredible how investing in something as simple as a laugh can pay back real dividends.
Get creative with it 

After you’ve made the decision to bring more fun to your workplace, the next step is to come up with ways to make it happen. Here are a few ideas. 
Provide incentives for goals met. Let’s say your team typically reaches 50% of their daily goal by lunchtime. Announce to your crew that if 80% of their goal is met within the same timeframe, everyone will be granted time to do something fun. Maybe it’s flying drones or a quick game of soccer. Whether it’s a group karaoke session or free lunch, the incentive depends on your team and what they’ll enjoy most.  
Have a laugh at your own expense from time to time. A super-serious boss can be intimidating. There was a time when leading through intimidation was how you drove results. This is no longer the case. We are now in the era of the even-tempered and respected employer who isn’t afraid of also being seen as human and vulnerable. A relatable boss can help your team be more comfortable coming to you with real issues. If they see you as a real person they can depend on, they will treat you as such. 
Celebrate the little things and the big things. A big win is a reason to celebrate. They may not happen often and when they do, a toast or a cheer is in order. That doesn’t mean the same can’t be said about the little wins. Calling out small victories and treating them like a big deal can have an exciting effect on your team. They’ll never quite know what may be celebrated next. Did an employee finally reach the last page of their notebook? Yay! Did someone come to work wearing a cool shirt today? Awesome! It’s up to you what gets celebrated, and that’s what makes it so much fun for everyone. 
Create events that happen monthly, weekly or just because. Every fun event at work shouldn’t necessarily be tied directly to performance. Having fun at work can be as simple as letting your team know you appreciate them by organizing occasional events just because you wanted to see smiles on their faces. Ice cream socials, barbecues, and game days are all strong starting points to cut through the humdrum of a normal work experience and establish something memorable for your team. 
Bring a boost to remote work 
More people are working from home than ever before. It would seem like establishing a fun work environment is almost impossible, but with a bit of ingenuity and a healthy amount of technology, you can create satisfying team-building activities into a virtual work-from-home environment. 
Schedule meetings just to check up. Most of the time, meetings are strictly business. You have an agenda and you have information that needs to be conveyed. But what if some meetings were called so everyone could laugh, share stories and talk about anything other than work? The results could be a fun change of pace that breaks up the day with delightful results. 
Order care packages for your crew. Another fun way to liven things up is to send out fun care packages to your team every now and then. This can be an excellent way to surprise and delight your team and make work more fun. What goes in the package is left to your creativity. You could include items for future fun digital events or just nice things to let them know you were thinking of them. The choice is yours. 
Try some digital gaming over your collaboration apps. Trivia contests, question-and-answer events and even quick sketching games are all possible over work collaboration apps commonly used to perform work tasks. The choice is yours game wise — as long as you don’t let a little distance get in the way of a good time with your team. 
Get to know your people. One of the many lessons learned over the last year has been the importance of human interaction. There’s a new level of appreciation and acknowledgement that we are more than the person sitting at the desk or working the retail floor. We are individuals, spouses, parents, neighbors, teachers, and so much more. Recognizing and appreciating the individual-ness that each of us offers is another way to increase the fun at work.

Having fun at work doesn’t equate to less time working. It can actually result in a team that loves working hard for you and enjoys having you as a leader. When you make things about more than just the business, you can help decrease burnout, increase drive and maximize loyalty. Now that’s good business. 

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