Ever been stressed at work? O.K., silly question—of course you have—and so has everyone else. Some degree of work stress is a given, considering timelines, budgets and project overload. But how individuals handle this stress can be impacted tremendously by the attitudes of management and the general workplace atmosphere.
Workers are asked to spend the majority of their day focusing on what’s best for business. In return, shouldn’t they be rewarded with an environment that is not only pleasant, but dare we say…fun?
How is it that fun became a dirty word in so many businesses? Reality is that a little bit of levity can do remarkable things for productivity and can serve to obliterate stress. Daily parties are hardly required. Instead, a simple bit of creativity is all that’s needed:
- No Meeting Fridays—gives employees the time to empty their in-boxes before the weekend.
- Midweek Fitness Challenges—a quick walk around the block as a group every Wednesday or maybe a special introduction to yoga mid-day.
- Music Jams—Welcome employees each morning with ten minutes of music.
- Create a hero—send home employees who’ve been putting in overtime with a bouquet of flowers or a pint of ice cream. Ditto for employees who’ve travelled—give them an allowance to buy a gift for their family during their trip; the longer they’re asked to be away, the bigger the gift.
- Art Sale—Let employees choose a special piece of art for their office space from an online catalog.
- Seasonal Sweets—popsicles or lemonade in the summer; hot chocolate in the winter, delivered by top executives.
None of these require major investment, but the payback can be huge. Happy employees not only cope better with stress, but also tend to be more loyal and productive. That, of course, leads to more profits…and isn’t that fun?