Work and Play – The New Workplace Norm

Unlock the secrets to a happier, more productive workplace in our article, ‘Work and Play – The New Workplace Norm.’ Explore how organizations are embracing enjoyable experiences to boost creativity, morale, and productivity. Discover real-world examples of how employees are finding joy in their jobs, and why it matters more than ever in today’s competitive business landscape.

For an organization to meet its goals and surpass its competition it focuses on onboarding specialists instead of generalists. Having said that, one cannot do the same work repetitively considering that we devote a significant portion of our lives in striving to achieve organizational goals. To put this into a better context – imagine how distressed you would feel if you were allowed to eat from just one restaurant or studied only one or two subjects in school. A monotonous lifestyle profoundly impacts both adults and children as it stifles creativity, diminishes productivity, and erodes relationships.  Hence, the adage, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ holds true even in the workplace. At a time when companies seek innovative ways to retain talent, they are focusing on consistently integrating enjoyable experiences for their employees and moving beyond the sporadic employee events.

The significance of workplace fun:

Infusing a touch of enjoyment into the working environment alleviates stress and encourages employees to think out of the box. It boosts employee morale, cultivates enthusiasm, promotes leadership qualities, sharpens decision making, drives critical thinking and emboldens team members to voice out their thoughts and seek assistance whenever necessary.

Research to back up this claim:

In 2017, Forbes revealed a compelling study: happy employees are 20% more productive than discontent counterparts. Similarly, an extensive study carried out by Oxford University’s Business School affirmed that contended employees exhibit 13% higher productivity levels.

Further solidifying this outcome, two professors from University of Warwick conducted four different experiments with more than 700 participants to determine the co-relation between happiness and productivity at the workplace. He concluded in his research paper that ‘Happier workers use their time more effectively, increasing the pace at which they can work without sacrificing quality.’ They believe that their research will encourage management in all kinds of organizations to maintain an emotionally happy workplace for their workforce.

What are organizations doing differently:

We engaged with a few employees working in different sectors to illustrate how their bosses fostered an enjoyable culture in the office.

Mohammad Khayyali working in the financial control department of a prominent telecom company in Saudi Arabia shared that their team relishes engaging in games such as sudoku, scrabble, jigsaw puzzles, finding waldo and other interesting games every Thursday for 30 minutes.  He testifies that that all participants enjoy these simple, yet engaging games and the staff becomes competitive even if the reward is something as simple as a half day off or nutritional bars. The department ensures that the winners of the last game do not win the subsequent game, thus allowing everyone a chance to win.

Pair Eyewear, a US eye wear manufacturing firm of 100+ employees ensure that everyone contributes back to the community by participating with various NGOs in food distribution campaigns. They also like to re-decorate their office theme to celebrate Thanksgiving, Halloween and other events. 

Jean Deglasse, a product manager in Aviva Bulgarian investment firm, says that no two days are the same as the firm focuses on environmental and social responsibilities besides their core job of monitoring their clients’ wealth. Every month, the team brainstorms and vote on activities to be done collectively such as working as a team in cleaning the streets next to their office, organizing tree plantation campaigns, participating in walkathon to spread cancer awareness and many more. She finds her workplace so enjoyable and compelling that she has brought in her sister to work with the same company. She also regularly posts her out of office company activities on linkedin.

Preksha Sajnani, a business development manager of a private pharmaceutical company in India says that the CEO of her company likes to keep a check on their employees’ health by organizing separate team gym sessions for men and women. The same ethos is also applied by Nas Daily Planet, a large content creator company where he encourages his workforce to join him in grueling workout sessions.

The team in Lanatus System, India’s leading software development company, has learnt to transform days with high workload into an enjoyable experience filled with laughter by allowing their employees to unwind in an epic game of dumb charades.

The initiatives taken above were not driven by the CHRO but by the department leaders or collectively by the team. If this does not happen in your company, then you need to step up and speak up about introducing activities which can bring inclusiveness and joy to you and your colleagues. After all employees working in a department is no different than playing in a soccer team to win a game. Employee happiness is such a big thing that companies abroad have also begun to hire a separate executive – Chief Happiness Officer to enhance the overall well-being of employees through various fun ways. If you are looking to hire and your employees are content in their respective department, they will undoubtedly voice-out their contentment to attract and retain talent.

Disclaimer: Incorporating fun in the workplace is one of the ways to keep employees happy and motivated. Each person is different and prioritizes other things to motivate them. Other factors are also important such as challenging work in the office, monetary incentives, dynamic work, etc.

Also read: 7 Business Ideas For Women At Home – Work From Home Wonders.

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