With stress-related illness costing businesses in the UK 11.7 million working days last year, companies are looking for ways to keep their staff motivated, but more importantly, happy in their jobs. A study by economists at the University of Warwick found that happiness led to a 12% spike in productivity, so how do we have fun in the office without distracting from the work that needs to be done?
Create a fun culture
Fun at work isn’t about getting a ping pong table and having smoothie breaks at eleven. It’s about creating a culture where fun is welcomed and sparks creative solutions. Once you do this you will start to see positive changes in how your agency performs.
Happy employees are healthier, meaning there are less non-genuine absences from work. Enjoying time with a colleague in a relaxed environment encourages honest and open discussion. Having a welcoming and fun culture encourages creativity because there is no fear that ideas will be shunned – as the saying goes, there is a fine line between genius and madness.
Sharing and celebrating
Here we do lots of things to try and make sure creativity and fun are embedded in our culture. We celebrate the success of our team in our ‘winning at life’ section in the weekly meeting, and this doesn’t have to be all work-related – we share personal successes, too. This allows everyone to learn about each other and mutual interests we might share. We also concentrate on progress versus goals. It’s important for each person to know where we’re headed as a business and where they fit into the equation, as this helps them know they are making a difference. We focus on people’s strengths and not taking eachother too seriously – laughter forms a big part of these meetings!
We have a wellness allowance in our budget for things like gym memberships or activities that keep our staff healthy. We have a team entering a triathlon next month and this is exactly the type of thing we encourage. We have flexible working hours that work around our employees, meaning we can control our work/life balance. Nobody likes to work on their birthday, so we get those off – and we have an office dog, who always brings a smile and gets us out at lunch.
All these things contribute to what we feel is a fun culture that our team enjoys working in, and it encourages great work. This naturally has other knock-on effects such as retaining and attracting talented individuals to work for us, and it gives us remit to have a little fun with clients as well – those relationships are so important to nurture.
‘Fun’ is a word that’s thrown around a lot in the workplace these days, but it can be hard to define. For us, it’s about always being on the lookout for new ways to make sure our team is happy and healthy, inspiring a culture where people feel they can enjoy themselves at work and encouraging the creativity and results that clients need.
Written by Rachel McHugh, managing director at agency Clear B2B
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