Who Said Offices Can’t be Fun?

Following the lead of tech giants, Google and Facebook, organisations everywhere are adapting their work environments to become more inspiring and stimulating spaces. In many circumstances the ‘fun’ factor isn’t usually associated with the ‘W’ word.

A recent study from Bright HR and leading psychologist Professor Sir Cary Cooper revealed that employees who have fun in the office take less sick leave, work harder and are generally more productive. If the cliche use of multi-coloured bean bags, nap pods and even free beer will produce a hard-working and connected team, then surely businesses should invest in this ‘fun’ factor as soon as possible.

CEOs, business owners and professional practitioners are always looking for ways to maximise productivity. Being able to utilise staff potential and achieve goals in a timely and efficient manner is essential in creating a strong foundation for companies to build on. It’s not always about the physical – eccentric furniture or communal areas. Putting in place a rewards scheme is a massive improvement in itself.

Check out three other concepts below.

The workplace is constantly changing and companies should be prepared to adapt to cater to emerging trends. Adding greenery in an office space can have a positive impact on employees and their organisations by reducing stress levels and fatigue. Dr Tove Field, in a 2011 blog post explained, “Against the background of the psychological identity and mankind’s positive reaction to nature, we can assume that plants have a particular effect on the sense of well-being”. Interior design experts also comment that the colour green creates a cool and calming interior feel. Decorating offices in plant-inspired hues can have a similar effect to introducing real plants to office spaces – both improving overall mental wellbeing of employees.

Simple changes to stationary and office tools can also increase productivity levels. A study found that the average person wastes up to 4.3 hours per week searching for files, leading to frustration, increased stress and lost focus. The stationary landscape is booming with industry leaders such as Paperchase who have made even the humble post-it-note and desk organiser immensely interesting. Independent stationary companies are also flourishing. Labour and Wait in London provide a beautifully unique and intricate approach to the basic pen and paper, which may be a worthwhile team investment.

There are various other strategies that can keep the balance of productivity, wellness and a positive work culture, while simultaneously creating a fun atmosphere. Organising social events outside of office walls enhances team building and collaboration. This can also help reduce the pressure of solely professional relationships and allow people to connect on a personal level.

Finally – and perhaps surprisingly, the concept of encouraging breaks goes a long way. According to research, the top 10% of productive employees tend to work in concentrated bursts while having various breaks throughout the day. Intentionally or unintentionally, offices can develop a culture that does not allow workers to take time to decompress, however it is vital to remember that decompressing aids a fresh working mind to enable that creativite spark.

DS.Emotion comment:

Staying on top of workplace trends as they emerge is key, especially in a time where the boundaries of work and play continue to blur.

Placemaking creates desirable workplaces that contributes to positive business outcomes overall. It’s about making small steps to improving that ‘fun’ factor at work through, to encourage full buildings that are thriving. After all, “buildings without people are nothing”.