Are you suffering through days upon days of boredom in the workplace? If you’re getting your work done day in and day out, but you’re not feeling it, you might need a swift injection of workplace fun. We’re not talking about happy hours and company parties that take time away from your home life—we’re talking about activities that can make your daily routine in the office fun.
Happy People Are Productive People
There is no doubt that happier people are more likely to be invested in their surroundings and will be more likely to work harder when needed. A positive mental attitude produces increased oxygen, endorphins, and blood flow to the brain, which enables us to focus on work and think creatively. As a result, we’re more relaxed and happy. Happiness results with smiles and often laughter, which is great for the workplace. Not only is it an obvious sign that people are truly enjoying where they are and what they are doing, but it brings people together.
Are you ready to get happy? Maybe you need a few ideas to make it happen. Here are ten simple tips to inject some fun and laughter into your work day:
1. Focus on happiness
You can be a serious, productive employee and be happy. You simply need to keep perspective to stay healthy. For instance, should one stressful situation change your outlook on your job? No. If you place importance on what will keep you happy in the long-term, you will be more inclined to approach that stressful situation with a positive attitude, and maybe even with a smile on your face.
So how do you do it? Make a list of what’s important to you. Stick it somewhere accessible and when you’re challenged with a less than positive situation, run through that list and ask yourself how the situation is impacting the things on the list, and what you can do to achieve the outcome you want. Keeping “happiness” in the back of your mind will eventually ensure that it’s front of mind when you’re trying to make tough decisions.
2. Create or join an office club or activity
Sounds corny, right? You’re probably thinking, "Organized fun is lame.” I’m right there with you. But any time I’ve taken part in a guacamole making contest, a company softball game, or even a group community service project, I’ve felt so good about myself and my coworkers. Maybe you’re not the type to organize these activities, and that is fine. It’s not for everyone. But if one is organized, join in the fun. You’ll get to know your coworkers in a new way, and you’ll have a little fun together. That could spark a new friendship, it could make a future tough situation easier, and you might even find better ways of working with your coworkers based on a new bond you formed over an activity. So before you say “no thanks,” think about it.
3. Lunch time activities
If you’re not a taking lunch break, start now. It doesn’t have to be a full hour if you don’t have the time, but you need to get away from work. Maybe you go to the gym to blow off some steam. Maybe you play a card game with a few work buddies. Maybe you go shopping. No matter what you do, get your mind off work, eat something healthy (or treat yoself!), and enjoy the fact that you can step away from your tasks in the middle of the day. If you can have a work friend join you, it’s a bonus.
4. Inspire creativity
Even if your company isn’t a creative one…or if your role is the opposite of creative, you can be creative at work. just remember “creativity” doesn’t have to be literal, meaning you don’t have to make a piece of art (though you can and should if you want to). Creativity can come in many forms. Some ideas:
- A collaborative meeting in front of a whiteboard where you and a team talk through and sketch ideas or solutions to an problem
- Sharing inspirational quotes or stories with your team
- Making lunch for some coworkers
- Sharing URLs to sites that you like, sharing ideas
- Making a team or company Pinterest board
All of these things will inspire others to be creative in their day-to-day, and will in many cases bring a smile to someone’s face—that might be you, it may be your co-workers. Either way, expressing yourself in a medium that means something to you can be inspiring for others.
5. Work where you’re comfortable
My desk gets boring on a sunny day. I bet yours does too. If I’m meeting free and feeling like I need some fresh air, I’ll take my laptop outside. If I have a meeting with a few people and think we’ll be able to focus outside, I’ll ask the team if they’re into venturing out to a park bench. A change of scenery can sometimes have a major impact on your level of happiness. An easy change of scenery can make a huge difference in how your team will work together, and the decisions you’ll make—in a very positive way.
6. Leave work at home
Be productive during the day and you will be able to enjoy your life at home. If you’re looking for tips on how to be productive, check out a recent blog post on cutting stress and being happy. Being happy at work means you’ll be happy at home, and live the balanced life we all strive for.
7. Make the most of animated gifs
There is no better way to inject a little silliness into your emails and instant messages than by using an appropriate animated gif. If feels like there is a reaction gif for just about every situation. Just go a quick Google images search or check out giphy.com and you’ll have a smile on your face in no time.
The classic reaction gif.[/caption]
8. Take a walk
Give yourself a break from your screen. Give yourself 15 minutes for a walk—inside or outside. Just getting away from your work for a break, and getting some basic exercise will help to get the oxygen flowing. This can be particularly helpful if you feel stuck on something. If you remove yourself from your work and get your body moving, chances are you will be able to re-focus and get your work done quickly.
They say laughter is infectious. Don’t be afraid to laugh—or to make someone laugh when you feel it’s appropriate. Comedy comes in all forms, so obviously you have to be self aware, but don’t be afraid to be the comedian if that’s your thing. Things like office trophies for silly activities, office jokes, and even mid-work day dances can make people laugh and break tension. But beware—they can also be really annoying. You’ve got to be ready to shut yourself off if someone else isn’t happy about your laughter.
10. Don’t force it
No matter what you do, you need to make your own happiness. If any of the tips above don’t seem right for you, that’s okay. There are a lot of things you can do to make yourself happy and to feel connected to the people and the mission of your workplace. Do what feels right and remember to keep perspective.
Your Fun Starts Now
It’s time to abandon the dullness that can come along with work. Be happy and make others happy. Do what feels appropriate for you and your workplace, and remember to keep in mind that as long as you are happy, you will be able to make others happy. And when that happens, everyone wins.
If you’re looking for more ideas on how to make your workplace productive but fun, check out How to Maximize Productivity Through Fun in the Workplace.