Why All Work, No Play Doesn’t Work For The Office

Any company knows how easy it can be for employees to get caught up in the hectic routine of constant meetings and work—with little break until everyone’s tasks are complete, and it’s time to go home. This formula, however, doesn’t necessarily translate into a happy staff or the best possible work that a company can produce. I’ve seen firsthand what happens when employees are worked until the point of burnout with no reprieve.

That’s why we try to infuse our culture and work environment with opportunities for staff to connect with each other on a personal level to break up the never-ending distractions of calendars, emails, and calls. Below are a few strategies to incorporate fun into your company culture, and why it’s important.

Let your staff take ownership

We’re fortunate that we’ve created a culture where employees feel empowered to share ideas freely without fear of criticism. And as far as team-building opportunities go, it has certainly paid off. At Fingerpaint, some recent ideas from staff include a monthly, after-hours beer club, trivia nights, and more. By giving your staff ownership of the social calendar, it’ll be organic, and they’ll feel engaged and want to participate.

Make room in existing initiatives

You don’t need extravagant events or a huge budget to add some fun to the workday. Take a look at your current structure and budget to identify where you have a little wiggle room. Can you offer a gift or swag item around the holidays? Are there opportunities in your staff meetings to highlight certain employees in a fun and unique way? Unexpected moments will take your staff by surprise and will likely inspire engagement in your culture and an uptick in morale.

Reward hard work

Everyone in your company deserves a chance to unwind, and that’s especially true of those who have a history of longevity or high performance in your firm. We go so far as to offer a sabbatical to those who have been with our company for five years as a thank you for their dedication and an opportunity to truly relax and recalibrate. But aside from offering employees a month-long vacation, there are plenty of more accessible ways to reward your people. One of my favorites is implementing peer-selected awards in addition to traditional promotions or raises. This is a great way to honor those at all levels of the organization and ensure that no one’s hard work goes unnoticed. It’ll also encourage your staff to rally around their colleagues and share in each other’s achievements.

While a business’s success is certainly incumbent upon its performance, I believe that companies that take the time to provide opportunities for staff to recharge and bond with each other will have a more positive culture that, as a result, produces better work.

First featured on Forbes.com

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