25 April 2013

Has your business become a “FUN FREE ZONE”?

The aim of this article is to introduce a little fun into your business, to lighten it up and help restore a sense of balance, enjoyment and fulfilment at work. Fun, in whatever form it takes, has an amazingly restorative ability. Humour is a very potent weapon in the small business skills arsenal.

Unfortunately, terminal seriousness has crept into many workplaces, and many business owners wanting to lighten up the place a little don’t know where to start. So I have made it easy for you. Here are ten good ways to encourage your team to laugh a little more often; hopefully you will, too!

  1. Develop a Fun Committee—this committee’s job is to come up with ideas for making your workplace a whole lot more fun. (People need to volunteer for this, and ideally need a good sense of humour.)
  2. Joke of the day—share the responsibility around and get everyone to take turns at coming up with a joke of the day.
  3. Ugly shirt day—while many businesses already look as if they are holding this competition every day, make it a special event.
  4. Baby pictures—have a pin-up board with baby pictures of every member of your team—and you!
  5. Have a fun zone—this can be where people go when they need to laugh. It can have a few silly toys, some joke books—really, anything that can raise a smile.
  6. Baking day—have a rotating roster for everyone to bake something and bring it into work. There must be guide­lines to make it equal and everyone should at least try the end result.
  7. Have a weekly buddy system—everyone gets allocated a buddy for one week, and the buddy has to look after the ‘boss’, get them tea and coffee, buy their lunch, and so on. But the catch is, the next week, you swap.
  8. Introduce spontaneity—take your team out for coffee, bring in a treat or just do something out of the ordinary.
  9. Successes Board of Fame—have a noticeboard with staff successes for the month. This can be any success, not just work related.
  10. Have a ‘something you didn’t know about me’ day—every member of your team tells the rest of the team one thing that no one at work would know about them.

Start having more fun at work today. If your workplace is a little humour-challenged, give it time, don’t try to turn it into the local comedy club overnight. Start small, work your way up, but start today. And remember that laughing is also an excellent form of rejuvenation—15 minutes of laughter has the same relaxing effect as meditating for eight hours; ten minutes of laughter has the same relaxing effect as two hours’ sleep (I’m not sure where these statistics came from, but they are worth a good laugh).

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