How To Bring Joy To An Office: Fun Office Activities and Why They Matter
By Eustace Q. Armchair III, Chief Financial Officer, KARMA jack
Hello. This blog will be as joyless as possible.
The geniuses in charge at KARMA jack have once again tasked me with writing a blog. This time, the topic is “why happiness matters in the office.” Easy: it doesn’t. Personally, I believe that work should be work (aka soul-sucking and miserable). When I first started in this industry, the most fun we would ever have was when they finally allowed us fifteen minutes for lunch. Office life should be joyless, end of blog. At home, sure, I enjoy a big bowl of shredded wheat as much as the next guy. But at work, I expect to be yelled at and demeaned, thank you.
Anywho, my bosses seemed to disagree. We made a compromise. They said “if you write the fun office activities blog, you get to scream at one underling.” Needless to say, this deal was sufficient for me (watch out, Brenda). But, I will still write this blog from MY point of view.
Why Office Joy Matters
I’ve been scouring my local library to find reasons why it doesn’t. But I did find some (hack) studies that suggest that happy employees may provide a few benefits for their employer. Firstly, while I believe it’s more productive having employees that are so enraged that they are constantly on the verge of quitting, it turns out replacing employees is more expensive than retaining them. Here are reasons employees don’t hate their jobs.
- Sense of Belonging – When employees can be themselves and when they feel like they are contributing, they have fewer meltdowns at work. Unbelievable.
- Benefits Over Perks – Strong workplace benefits, like PTO, healthcare and parental leave are apparently more important than free food, gyms and cold brew on tap. Frankly, I don’t think employers should provide any benefits. It’s bad enough that employees feel entitled to free chairs. Unbelievable.
- Support From Above – My first boss literally spat on me every day and I thanked him for it. I was so proud that he noticed me, I couldn’t tell if I was crying or if he just happened to get me in the eye. These days, however, employees prefer a coddling hand that “appreciates” their “time and effort.” Unbelievable.
Once again, I think work should be a place to constantly live in fear and anger that builds up so much that one day you wake up in a police station because you “raged out at the zoo.” But experts disagree. Here’s why happy employees are apparently better.
- Fun Improves Collaboration – Enjoying time with your colleagues outside of work apparently bonds them together. It also encourages honest and open discussions. So, when people at work are friends, they communicate as friends and are more likely to ask for help and advice from people they trust. As for me, I view my coworkers not as friends, but as arch nemeses who one must compete with for resources such as paper, white-out and raises. I will win the Game of Work.
- Fun Breeds Creativity – Studies show that when teams are having fun, they are more creative in their problem solving. During the mental state known as “joy,” positive hormones are secreted which help produce innovation and good ideas. When there’s fun in the air, people become more imaginative and have better conversations. This might explain why when I nod at a coworker, they cower in fear and have to go home for the day.
- Health – Happy employees are generally healthier. When people enjoy their jobs, they are less likely to succumb to the dual monsters of stress and anxiety. I however, believe that stress and anxiety are the most powerful motivators. If you don’t want an ulcer, you shouldn’t be in the workforce. I call it a “Love Lump.” Many companies now have wellness programs to increase employee engagement. Unbelievable.
- Productivity – Happier employees are more productive by an average of 12%. Some studies have shown it go up to 20%. It’s hard to argue with these numbers (no matter how I’ve tried). Hmm, so if happy employees are more likely to be productive, maybe I can squeeze value out of them after all…
How To Fool Employees Into Thinking They Are Happy So They Shut Up And Do Their Work
- Games – I love games. I always have. From my childhood favorite “Pin The Wig On The Head Master” to modern-day ones such as… well I guess I haven’t played one in years. If you provide time in the day for your employees to have fun office activities, like games, perhaps they might be more willing to do their actual jobs.
- Socializing Opportunities – As we said before, fun improves collaboration while reducing competitiveness. So, maybe set up a happy hour once a month, or buy everyone tickets to a ball game. Maybe buy lunch, office dinners or anything to keep them chatting. If your employees are friends, they’ll be more likely to be happy in their positions.
- Recognize Milestones – Are you recognizing your team’s achievements? I personally don’t care if you do, but I read that might help with productivity. Celebrating work anniversaries and small wins is a great way to fool them into feeling appreciated. I also read that celebrating birthdays can double as recognition AND socialization. Boom. Two for one.
- Encourage Mindfulness – Honestly, the aforementioned zoo episode might not have happened if my mind was in a better spot. So, perhaps incorporating mindfulness practices into your company culture can help. Maybe a monthly event where employees can practice yoga or meditation. Studies show that meditation can help improve focus and productivity.
- Office Jokes Funny Ha Ha – Here’s one for you: Why did the Handsome CFO write a blog about joy? Because they threatened to fire him if he didn’t. Try emailing a few other gut busters like that around to produce mind-focusing serotonin in your sheep employees.
Fun Office Activities Are (Unfortunately) Here To Stay
While I absolutely stand by my conviction that joy has no place in work, I do admit that fun office activities may help produce a more active, healthy and productive workforce. For this reason alone, I declare this blog an absolute success. As my reward (recognize my milestones, please) I shouldn’t ever have to even think about happiness for the rest of my days.
If you need any more ideas for fun office activities or how to bring joy to your workplace, contact KARMA jack Digital Marketing.