2.25.14

How Your Office Can Fall In Love with Fun

BY CHRIS DECATUR

Let's face it.

A job is a relationship. Hopefully a long-term relationship too. And like any long-term relationship you may need to spice things up from time to time. I'm not saying you should take your laptop out on a date to a dimly lit bar and pour a glass of wine all over the keyboard. I'm suggesting that we lose the seriousness of the office world, and break a mold from time to time by adding a little F-U-N, fun.

If you’re anything like me, you can admit that it would be great to sit around in your Spongebob pajamas all day, answering emails and pushing the mouse around. This is unfortunately not realistic. However, we can do some things around the office to spice up the life. Granted, some crew members will be resistant to this idea, and in some types of offices and business this just is not a feasible option. But, let’s suspend our beliefs for a moment and consider some of these ideas...

CUBICLE DECORATION COMPETITION

This is your second home. You practically live here. You might as well make it cozy with some decor. The idea here is to get you surrounded by things that inspire you when you need it. Books, magazines, pictures of the puppy or the hubby. If you spend a little time, your coworkers can get to know your personality just by your decorative choices. And, if you’re the only one decorating your cubicle, try holding a “competition” to get people moving. Sometimes a holiday will get a fire lit under your coworkers chair.

OFFICE-BASED HOLIDAYS

Sure, having a day off from work is great for an actual holiday, but having an Office Holiday is a great way of building the office culture and bringing people together and work as a team on something other than client work. I mean, have you ever tried to organize a work potluck? On top of this, these holidays break up the work-week monotony.

MEETING FUN BITS

Meetings can be quite boring. Especially if you have to meet often, and if you have something important to get done. Granted, this idea won’t cure every office meeting ailment, but it will help you look forward to a meeting more than you did yesterday.

The rule would be to stick to a routine that people can count on and look forward to. Each morning-meeting could start with a “Good News of the Day”, where someone can discuss with the team some good news that not everyone might know. Did a meeting go well yesterday? Did you land a new client? Do we have a new hire? If there’s nothing company specific, maybe someone can share a personal bit of good news. Another idea, “Byte of the Day/Week”, where someone is chosen each week to find a topic of their choosing, and share/educate with the entire team. This could be “Great Apps for Your Phone”, or “Albums to Pay Attention To”. Each day they pick an app [or album] and explain the positives and uses. It’s a good way to allow each team-member be express their hobbies/interests and share with the team.

PAJAMA DAY

Okay, maybe I spoke too soon about not being able to work in your pajamas. Truthfully, this might not be doable for some offices, but we all know we’d love to do it. Come to work in your cozy pants, hair a mess, slippers, and the overly baggy sweatshirt you got from that team-building exercise.

GIVE BACK

There are a million ways your office can give back to the community. Not only can this draw your team closer together, but you can promote your business by making colorful shirts and wear them. An idea would be “Trash Clean Up Day.” Find a nice time of the year to be outside, make some shirts, and spend the better part of the day picking up trash on the beach, at a local park, or neighborhood.

MIXED TAPE FRIDAYS

Something that Erin, one of our designers, did was pull the office together to make a “mixed tape” via Rdio/Spotify and made that person play the list after lunch. It made the office energized, helped spark light conversation, and allowed each team member the chance to share a side of themselves.

OTHER IDEAS...

- Paint the Walls // Use interesting colors, or maybe even decide together on inspirational words.
- Food Drive // Pull together cans and boxes of food for your local food drive.
- Candy Candy Candy // Put out bowls of candy, or gumball machines to inspire that kid in you.
- Toys! // Need I say more? Throw in some Nerf Guns, or a shuffleboard in the mix, and who isn’t gonna have fun at work?

So, spearhead this fun movement! Be the Peter Pan of the office. Heck, if you can get away with it, *dress* like Peter Pan if you want. Just do SOMETHING that gets the office in love with fun.

Chris Decatur
written by CHRIS DECATUR
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