5 tips to add more fun into the workplace

People want a job that is fun and not incredibly stressful, given the sheer amount of time that they will spend in their workplace. 

To improve performance levels, employers can consider making the workplace fun. In the Singapore context, this is necessary as firms are currently struggling with low productivity.

Possible ideas to make the workplace more pleasurable include deciding what kind of fun can be allowed, increased interaction among colleagues, more celebrations, increased competition and exercise breaks.

1. Decide what fun can be considered acceptable

In attempting to make the workplace more fun, one of the concerns is that employees wrongly perceive this to mean that basic rules and regulations no longer apply.

Making the atmosphere of the workplace lighter may increase productivity. However, allowing jokes that contain harmful content or sexual connotations may inevitably damage the reputation of the firm. Furthermore, it may cause tension and conflict between colleagues.

Therefore, if the boss would like to make his or her company a more enjoyable place to work in, it is important to first discern how this can be done without compromising on the firm's corporate values.

2. Encourage bonding

A simple step to make the workplace more fun is to encourage colleagues to bond with one another.

One of the benefits of this is that it does not cost much money. In addition, it is relatively easy for the boss or relevant department to implement this.

To get employees to interact with one another, the head of the company can allow for meetings when making decisions for the firm. They can be encouraged to express their views and concerns over the choice of decisions They can also be asked to give feedback on how the firm can improve and be more relevant in the market.

Apart from this, employees can also be made to collaborate on assignments and projects.

Furthermore, team-building activities such as camps can be organised regularly.

3. Encourage celebrations

Staff can be encouraged to organise and partake in celebrations throughout the year. These celebrations do not need to be elaborate or expensive. Instead, they can be small gatherings or parties where workers of the firm come together to celebrate special occasions.

This may range from the birthday of a colleague's child, to large celebrations such as Christmas.

Not only would this make working for the company more fun, but it would also strengthen employee relations.

An example of a company with many fun events organised throughout the year is Omnigon, a multinational digital consulting firm. This firm has cool outings every month and happy hour every week. It also has holiday celebrations, such as trips to Escape the Room and Casino Royale.

4. Use competition to increase excitement

The head of the company can stir up competition to increase the excitement and thrill at work. For example, the employee of each department that shows the best performance for that year could be rewarded with a trophy of recognition. This would motivate everyone to work their best for the company.

It would also encourage employees to take initiative in their workplace, as they may also take up responsibilities beyond their job scope.

5. Allow exercise breaks

Research has shown that having exercise sessions at work can increase productivity and aid collaboration. It can also improve the mood of employees, which will then boost employee performance.

In order to implement this, the company will need to invest in exercise facilities. For example, Swift, a global financial messaging company, has built a sports centre at its headquarters for its workers.

However, one concern is that allowing for exercise breaks may actually lead to decreased efficiency. For example, if a sales promoter was allowed to take an exercise break during working hours, he might have lost a few potential customers. Furthermore, another consideration would be if these exercise breaks are part of the employees' salaries. If they are, employees may misuse these exercise breaks as an excuse to slack from their responsibilities.

In conclusion, it is important that the workplace is made more fun. This will aid in raising motivation levels among employees, translating to better quality work. Given enough time, this will enable the firm to improve its overall performance.

According to Dale Carnegie, a well-known American writer and lecturer, "People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing." Hence, employers should consider it a priority that their workers are enjoying the work that they do.

This article was contributed by Amanda Ong Ee Ying, an 18-year-old who is currently awaiting her A-level results. Her email address is ongamanda98@gmail.com.