Traditionally speaking, work is not supposed to be fun; you do your job, get paid, and that is that. If you want to have fun, then you do that during your own time: on the weekends or during your scheduled vacation. But the truth of the matter is that when you are having fun at work, it makes for a more productive environment. In fact, statistics show that fun in the workplace leads to 51 percent lower turnover and 125 percent less burnout. So why aren't more companies marrying the two? Perhaps it's the fear that if there's too much fun going on, not much work will get done. This couldn't be further from the truth. The following are seven ways to have fun while getting things done at work.
1. Spread the Love and Set the Tone
If you want your work environment to be fun, you will have to set the tone to give others permission to do the same. Most people have a silly side to them, but because they have a fear of what other people might think, they conform to a personality that is safe and conservative. Don't get me wrong; I am not saying to be unprofessional, but there are ways to have fun while being professional. If the energy in the office is a stuffy one, then productivity will dip. Start your fun work environment by just being you and enjoying life. The energy will begin to rub off on your colleagues.
2. Gamify Your Task
Monotony has never been good for anyone. Whenever you are doing the same things day in and day out, it doesn't make for a fun environment. Instead of just getting your work done in a mundane way, spice it up by creating challenges that add spark to the workday. Instead of completing your task the conventional way, maybe add a timer to the task to see if you can get it done before the timer runs out. Writing a report or creating a presentation? Consider initiating a contest in which coworkers compete for the best design or most accurate report. Sky's the limit, so use this as a way to create friendly competition within the office.
3. Schedule Activity Time With Your Coworkers
This can be going to lunch together, making a coffee run, or trying different spots for snacks. Create a ritual around the office that has nothing to do with actual work so that you can recalibrate your brain and become more productive. As you and your coworkers balance activity time with work, you will notice that you look forward to coming to work based on the scheduled adventures.
4. Take a Few Minutes Every Day to Get Up and Walk Around
What good is a luxury car that doesn't have any gas? Making sure you are not burnt out is vital to your productivity. Take a few minutes each day to get up and walk around. Here at the BankMobile offices, we'll randomly do push-ups as a team to get the blood flowing after being seated for so long. Don't like push-ups? Then how about doing some jumping jacks? The goal is to keep the blood flowing in between your work.
5. Make Your Workspace Enjoyable
What you see visually adds to the enjoyment of your job, so stop allowing your space to look so dull. Decorate your office full of colors and accessories that make you come alive. Put special mementos or pictures on your desk that bring a smile to your face. Keeping your office festive will add to the good vibes that you are looking for.
6. Laugh out Loud
Work doesn't have to be all business, all of the time. Laughing is a great way to relieve yourself from any work stress while still staying focused on your task. In fact, some believe laughter is the remedy for everything. It is also believed that laughter can be contagious, so as you begin to laugh out loud, those around you will also likely join in. Don't force the laughter, but make it one of your goals for the day.
7. Do Something Kind For Your Coworker
Lastly, make a habit of creating an environment in which everyone at some point does a random act of kindness for a coworker. Maybe it's done in a pay-it-forward style, so no one feels obligated to repay the person who did the act of kindness directly but instead keeps the cycle going by having coworkers look forward to something nice happening to them.
Luvleen Sidhu is the president, cofounder and chief strategy officer at BankMobile, the largest and fastest growing digital bank in the country helping the underbanked, millennials, and middle-income Americans have an affordable, effortless, and financially empowering banking experience.