Working in the I.T industry can be a very dark place filled with long hours, difficult customers and unappreciated work. If you manage a team that is constantly working within one of these environments, it can be hard to keep the team members motivated. Highly motivated employees often find their motivation from working in a pleasant office environment. It is often up to the I.T manager to create a happy workplace for your employees—the more they can play and relieve stress, the harder and more efficiently they’ll work and increase workplace productivity.
In my experience, team happiness spurs workplace productivity and by making your work environment a ‘happy place’, you can take care of your team and encourage them to get more done. In this article, we will cover some creative, action-oriented ideas to help you inject a little “fun” into your workplace. To make the workplace fun and a happier place for your staff to spend their workday.
Tips on how to make the workplace fun and increase workplace productivity
Create a games/chill-out area
Working in I.T can often mean looking at a computer screen for extended periods of time. If you want your team to stay motivated and refreshed, you should be encouraging them to take regular breaks. Of course, you want them to take their breaks away from their desks, so try to provide a fun and relaxing ‘breakout area’ where people can go for 10 minutes to clear their minds. A small break in the day’s routine can really reinvigorate a person’s thought processes. You can include comfy sofas, bean bags, a pool table/ table tennis table and a computer games console. This will provide a change of scenery and you may just find, that the conversation will end up around work and projects anyway, giving a change in perspective and the creative flow of new ideas.
Related Content – Prevent Computer Fatigue and Take a Break
Allow for flextime
It is important to remember that your employees have a whole separate personal life away from that which they spend at work. Giving your employees some flexibility in their work schedules shows your concern for their personal lives. In addition, allowing employees to work from home occasionally can be a great motivator, making the days in the office a lot more productive and less stressful.
Go out together
Your time at work does not necessarily mean that you are confined within the walls of the office. Have fun with your whole team by going for regular days and/or nights out. Going out together as a team is a great way to get everyone having fun and forming relationships outside of work that could inspire collaboration back in the office. As well as being loads of fun, days out can make great team-building exercises, even if you don’t fancy traditional ‘build a raft from drinking straws’ style team-building days (we survived this zombie apocalypse together and had a great time). In most cases, these outings are at an expense to the organization and there is nothing employees like more than free outings and perks from the company.
Show appreciation more often
You may think that a junior team member or a co-worker has done a great job or done more than was called for but have you told him or her that? Saying it – or putting it down on email – makes a regular workday much better for that person.
Lead with laughter
Cracking jokes all day long isn’t necessary but shed the professional demeanour once in a while to crack a smile. Share funny stories and links, or create a joke board where people can pin up cartoons or little jokes. Smiles and laughter are contagious and will make your workplace more fun. Understand that taking 15 minutes to laugh will increase productivity, not reduce it. People think more clearly and operate more productively when they’ve had a break that clears the cobwebs from their brains. Laugh a lot and encourage your team to do the same.
Build a wall of fame.
Designate a wall in the office as “The Wall of Fame”. Decorate it with awards, thank-you notes from clients, news clippings of your company’s successes, and so on.
Celebrate small wins
An essential aspect of a fun workplace culture is where people feel good about themselves and their work. While appreciating major accomplishments is necessary to increase employee morale and workplace productivity, celebrating the small wins can be just as effective.
Celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries
Every employee wants to feel seen and appreciated in his/her workplace. One of the best ways to do so is to celebrate your employees’ birthdays and work anniversaries. This makes employees feel that the organization they work for immensely values them. Additionally, such days are great for other team members to celebrate with one another.
Encourage hobbies at work
First of all, you must get to know your employees. I guarantee you that each one has a hobby they’re passionate about so why not let them take some time out to work on their hobby? It’s a great way to relieve stress, recharge your batteries and offers your team the chance to bond over common interests. Hobbies like reading, scrapbooking, model building, adult colouring books or even knitting can be welcoming for stress relief during the workday.
Most of you spend a large chunk of your waking hours at the office, shouldn’t that time be enjoyable and fulfilling? Incorporating these simple changes to the workplace will help motivate your employees to be as productive as possible and enjoy their time when they are at work