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9 Quick Ways to Infuse Fun into a Serious Work Environment

All work and no play…

Let’s talk about fun. In a high-pressure work environment, fun is an antidote for stress. Unfortunately, some people think that work and fun can’t mix. In order to be successful, work is a serious place for serious people. (Ahem…companies like Virgin and Google would beg to differ.)

There are many benefits to incorporating some levity into the workday. According to the Great Place to Work Institute, around 81% of employees in the top 100 Best Companies to work for said they work in a fun environment. On the other hand, those companies that didn’t make the cut only hit an average of about 62%.

Also, fun has a 68% correlation to employee engagement scores. In other words, if someone perceives their work environment is “fun” on a survey, their individual engagement score will be affected positively by 68%. So, it’s clear that fun is not just a distraction; it’s a driver of success.

Now, let’s get down to business (*wink) and explore nine quick ways to inject some fun into your serious work environment.

Connect with your team: Start by asking your team what would bring them joy during the workday. How can they take a well-deserved break and enjoy themselves? Get their input and be open to their creative ideas.

Give daily pep talks: When the stress levels are through the roof and intense clients or stakeholders are breathing down your neck, provide a brief daily pep talk with some humor. Celebrate victories, big or small, and acknowledge how people have successfully maneuvered through challenging situations.

Celebrate project or matter milestones: Too often, we wait until a project is completed before we celebrate. But let’s change that. Incorporate moments of fun, whether it’s a funny ritual or a mini celebration, at different stages of a project or matter.

Kick off meetings with a smile: Start your meetings with a light-hearted touch. Bring a joke, play a game of “Two Truths and a Lie,” or share a funny TikTok video. It only takes a few minutes to uplift everyone’s mood and engage them in a playful atmosphere. (PS—Creativity can soar when people are happy.)

Change your scenery: If you have a hybrid or remote team, don’t confine your meetings to the same old office space. Find a fun venue to meet at, if possible. A change in surroundings can make a big difference.

Give back together: Spend an afternoon volunteering as a team and contribute to your community. It’s a great way to bond and bring a sense of fulfillment to your work.

Enable team member appreciation days: Take a moment to appreciate each other publicly. Set aside a day each week to highlight and acknowledge someone’s contributions. Rotate this practice among your team members to ensure everyone feels valued.

Start a book club: Let your team members choose their own books and create a book club. This not only provides an outlet for personal growth but also fosters teamwork and camaraderie.

Take a breath and lighten up yourself: Lastly, remember that not everything has to be serious 24/7. Allow yourself to take a breath, let your guard down, and embrace a little lightheartedness. Your work environment will be all the better for it.

A person works approximately 90,000 hours in a lifetime—that’s one third of their life. So, dare to challenge the status quo and infuse some playful energy into your workday. Your team and bottom line will thank you.

I leave you with a bit of fun—click on the video to the right. 😊

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