Brownies Gdpr Super Star

How to Create a Culture of Fun at Work

6 min read
Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland

We’ve all heard about how important it is to have fun, but how many of us know how to translate that into our cultures? Having fun at work might include encouraging whacky games and letting your hair down on a Friday afternoon, but it’s also about baking a happy and healthy attitude into the core of everything you do. 

“Where people aren’t having any fun, they seldom produce good work” – David Ogilvy

Having fun at work should be a priority for everyone and yet many of us still struggle to let go of the idea that work and fun don’t mix. There’s a perception that enjoying yourself at work can take away from focusing on our tasks – and that may be true in a practical sense, but the bigger picture is very different. The happier and more engaged your team is, the better they’re likely to perform. 

What the Data Tells Us

The more fun your employees are having, the happier they’re likely to be. And happy and engaged employees:

  • Are around 12% more productive, according to research from the University of Warwick
  • More likely to showcase your company as a great place to work, helping you attract high-performing talent
  • Have 41% lower rates of absenteeism and an 18% lower turnover rate, according to Zippia

How to Foster a Culture of Fun at Work

To encourage people to have fun at work, you need to make a safe and welcoming space for it – and that means leading from the top! Here are a few initiatives perfect for adding a little levity to your workspace. 

Start every meeting with a bit of fun

Break the ice at every opportunity, by starting your meetings with some fun activities. Run a competition for people to come up with the best joke or pun. Play a quick team-building game or ask the kind of icebreaker questions designed to get everyone chatting. 

This puts people at ease and those good vibes can have a positive effect on the rest of the meeting. 

Invite pets to work (or Zoom meetings!)

Animals are not only a massive stressbuster, they’re also an excellent talking point! If you’re lucky enough to have lots of employees who’d love to bring their furry friends into the office, you could set up a rota to spread the love around. 

And when you have online meetings, there’s no better way to fill those quiet moments than with a little show and tell starring cute pets.

Sprinkle fun into the everyday

While we might spend most of the day concentrating on important tasks and priorities, there are always opportunities for adding a little fun. For example, you could incentivise some goals by offering a small but enjoyable reward. 

At Mo, we take the time to celebrate people doing some seemingly mundane things. For example, the first person to complete security training enjoyed boxes of brownies that said “GDPR superstar” on them.

Set up a social Slack/Teams channel

Setting up a social channel, especially for fun is a great idea. It shows that you see your team as whole people, not just worker drones. Allowing a bit of space to share humour or things outside of work can only make people feel a better sense of belonging and job satisfaction. 

This can be a space for employees to chat about what they’re watching on TV, their favourite place to grab lunch or any random jokes, good news or amusing quips. 

Socialise outside of work

This one certainly shouldn’t be mandatory – the last thing you want to do is upset anyone’s work-life balance – but getting out of the office can help people relax and start deepening their relationships. 

You could get started by implementing a social lunch break or a fun break away during working hours. For example, at Mo, we’ve started using Donut, a Slack app that pairs you up with someone for a random chat once every two weeks. This offers the perfect opportunity for employees to get to know each other better – and not talk about work!

And if you have a remote or hybrid team, don’t worry, we have lots of suggestions for fun team-building exercises suitable for remote employees. 

Start a book club

Book clubs are an excellent way to get people chatting, whether they’ve enjoyed the book or not! This can be a nice evening or lunchtime social get-together and if you’re able to fund some snacks or drinks to go along with it, all the better. 

Running a book club is easy and studies have found that reading can actually make you happier. The New Yorker reports that readers have lower stress levels, higher self-esteem, and lower rates of depression than non-readers.

Create a company sports team 

For the employees who love to keep active, a company sports team is sure to brighten their mood. Not only does setting up a five aside football team or a softball squad offer people plenty of opportunities to hang out and cut loose, but it’s also a perfect team-building scenario.

Be sure to keep the office updated with the team’s progress via your communication platform. Even non-sporting employees can enjoy celebrating their successes (or their comedic defeats!). 

Celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries

This is the perfect way to not only have a little fun but also to show your employees that you care. Mo makes it easy for you to automatically track those special occasions, so you can stay up to date as a matter of course.

The scale of your celebration might depend on the size of your team or the personality of the individual being celebrated, but everything from a flurry of online well-wishes to a full-on sing-song in the company kitchen adds some excitement to the day.   

Encourage teams to play online games together once a week

Online games are a great low-pressure and low-cost way to encourage employees to take a break. Schedule in some fun time and investigate the huge range of games out there. 

Some are perfect for the whole office – like team building bingo – other games are ideal for smaller groups. For example, Werewolf Online is a fun deduction-style game for teams of up to 10 – we dare your employees not to have fun with that one.

Having fun at work FAQs

What are some games to have fun at work?

There are tons of games you can easily introduce into your every day, from on-the-spot fun like Two Truths and One Lie or Pitch Your Desk Item to more involved challenges, like a Guess the Childhood Photo competition. Office scavenger hunts can help get everyone moving while things like charades are perfect for breaking down barriers. 

What are fun ways to boost morale at work?

Keeping employee morale high should always be a top priority and kicking back and having fun is just one way to give it a boost. Encourage games, chats around the coffee machine and the sharing of personal news or successes. Sincerely reward and recognise the work employees put in and don’t be afraid to be a little silly about it (like our GDPR brownies).

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