If you work five eight-hour days each week, you spend a third of each working day at the office and almost 25% of each week at the office – more if you count commute time. That’s a lot of time to spend somewhere that you don’t have fun.
Here are some ideas on how you can bring more joy into the workplace with little to no cost involved – the boss won’t even mind!
1. Givers Gain
Want to have fun? Give happiness to a co-worker. Leave an anonymous note on a co-worker’s chair that tells them something you appreciate about them. It doesn’t matter what you do, just do something that will bring a smile to someone else’s face. It will make you smile, too. Once you’ve done it once, others may be interested. Make a game of it by drawing names and leaving secret notes for the person you draw.
2. Personal Pot Lucks
Pot lucks are nothing new or special. Jazz it up a bit by planning a potluck where everyone brings something from their tradition or culture. It can be the mac ’n’ cheese from childhood or an exotic dish from a far-off land. The rule is that everyone gets to tell the group about the dish and why it’s special. This is a wonderful opportunity to learn a little bit more about each other.
3. Volunteer Together
Find a cause that the group agrees on and pick a day to volunteer together. It can be on a day off, or if you can get management’s approval, it can be a company-sponsored day off to volunteer in the community. A perfect example is Habitat for Humanity. According to their website:
Volunteering with Habitat will not only raise your company profile within the local community, but it will also help build relationships within teams and boost company morale.
4. Set a Communal Goal
Health goals are popular. Fitness, hydration, and sleep are all good choices. Whatever the goal is, have it be a communal goal rather than a competition. Create a system to track the goal. An app or a bulletin board with a giant visual, like a thermometer, is a fun way to track progress. Decide what the reward for the team will be when the goal is achieved.
5. Scavenger Hunt
Before you roll your eyes, scavenger hunts are fun! And they aren’t just for kids. Companies like CityHunt specialize in creating team-building scavenger hunts for adults. You don’t need to pay a company, though. Make up some rules, make a list, divide into teams, and go! Planning the hunt can be part of the fun.
6. Speed Meetings
Use speed dating as a model for informal catch-ups. Draw names once a week; the name you draw is the person you take a coffee break with that week. Just 10 or 15 minutes of chatting and sipping a beverage during a break time helps people who don’t normally spend time together get to know each other better. Make a list of icebreaker questions people can ask each other. Or, each week have a “question of the week” for the coffee time.
The similar thread found in all of these ideas is that they bring people together in social ways. The more you know your co-workers, the more connected you will feel to each other throughout the workday. Human connection is a key component of having fun and feeling happier.