We spend much of each day at work. But not all of that time has to feel like, well, work. Regardless of the nature of the job, there are plenty of ways to bring enjoyment into the workday. Experimenting with different structures and games can help infuse levity and, dare we say fun, into the workplace. Taking cues from the workplace tone and from our coworkers, we can use a sense of playfulness to build relationships with colleagues and create a fun work environment. Try the tips below, or make up your own games.
Tuesday Trivia and Office Bingo
Schedule a ten minute break each Tuesday afternoon for a quick game of trivia. Each week, choose a moderator to come up with a set of questions to be completed in five minutes or less - with no lifelines! Participants can contribute to a fund to buy candy prizes, or the group can work with the office manager for the winner to select a special treat to order with your weekly Boston Organics box.
Collaborate with a group to create office bingo cards. Categories could include someone wearing polka-dots, eating a banana from the break room, hearing a loud sneeze, hearing a colleague mention "Game of Thrones." Tailor the fields to your office, but, as with any office game, be kind and inclusive. First person to get a full row wins.
Ongoing cooperation on a non-work related project can help build office camaraderie, which can in turn help relieve stress. Working together to keep an office plant alive is a great place to start. No need to limit your growing tendencies to green leafy plants, though. Simple mushroom growing kits thrive even in offices with indirect sunlight, and whether you've ever seen mushrooms grow from nothing before, the small mushroom farm is sure to spark lively conversation.
If you have any outdoor space, a raised bed vegetable garden in the summertime is sure to bring people together to get their hands dirty and enjoy the fruits of their labor. There are even organizations that can help get you started. If you're feeling ambitious, keeping a solitary beta fish in the office as a pet, as long as at least one person is committed to overseeing its care, might also be a fun group activity.
Internal communications don't need to be dull. Embrace creativity among employees and coworkers. If a GIF will articulate the message clearly, great! All the better if it references the team's favorite TV show. Tired of sending weekly memos with bland subject lines? Try incorporating rhymes or puns. This can help make routine communication something your colleagues will look forward to reading, and something you may look forward to writing.
Incorporating small traditions into the workplace will both provide an opportunity to acknowledge a job well done and bring some fun to the office. Buy a gong or bell to ring whenever a member of a sales team has a success. Select a company mascot or totem to be passed from employee to employee as recognition for going above and beyond. This can be an opportunity for employees to showcase their creativity by embellishing (by putting a face on an orange, perhaps?) an existing special item or creating something new.
Ask for an employee to volunteer as Birthday Captain and arrange for a treat on the day of an employee's birthday, or to celebrate all employees' birthdays at the start of the month. Schedule the celebration as a short meeting so everyone can stay and socialize over cake.
Does your workplace have silly traditions or fun games? Share in the comments below!