5 Ways to Celebrate National Fun at Work Day

Recognition & Motivation Ideas

Let’s face it. Most of us would rather by lying on a beach somewhere instead of cooped up in an office cubicle. Why? Because it’s FUN!balloons

For some reason, the word “fun” isn’t usually associated with work. Far too often, words like stress, boredom and drudgery spring to mind instead.

But why shouldn’t work be fun? More and more studies are showing that encouraging employees to have fun and play during work is a smart business move. According to the nonprofit, HelpGuide.org, play can relieve stress, improve brain function, boost creativity and improve relationships. All things that can help companies grow and prosper!

If you’re not quite ready to pass out hula hoops or build a playground in the breakroom, start slow by celebrating National Fun at Work Day on January 28th.

Start preparing for the day by asking employees what they think would be fun. If people are stumped (because how often do we get asked about fun at work?), here are a few ideas to get you started.

Plan a potluck

easy thanksgiving potluck recipes apple cheesecakeAll too often, employees work through lunch or eat at their desks. A potluck will encourage your staff to step away from their computers and connect with their coworkers.

Set it up in a large communal area or outside if you live in a warm area of the country.

Provide a few simple games like a bean bag toss or a dart board to loosen people up and get them laughing.

Set up celebration stations

Arrange to have different tables throughout the office with an assortment of fun activities. For example, one might have sketchbooks or coloring books while another might have chess or checkers. Allow employees to access these stations throughout the day as they wish.

Have a “decorate the cubicle” contest

Christmas Cubicle Decorating ContestIf your employees work in the dreaded “cubicle farm,” they may find it less than inspiring. Why not encourage them to have a little fun and decorate their spaces any way they like? You can either stick with a central theme (i.e., tropical paradise) or allow them to come up with their own.

Bring in supplies like streamers, confetti, balloons or anything else that makes sense. End the event by handing out awards in categories like “most creative” or “best use of materials.”

Dress down or dress up

For a change of pace, shake up the dress code. If your office is typically a buttoned-up, suit-and-tie environment, let employees know that, for one day only, they can wear jeans! If you really want to go crazy, tell them to haul out the flip flops. If your office is already casual, declare a “crazy costume” day. Or you could even go in the opposite direction and encourage employees to put on the ritz by donning formal or cocktail attire.

Have a garage sale

Okay, since it’ll be held in your office, it won’t be a garage sale exactly. Instead, maybe call it “desktop deals” or “cubicle close-out.” But the idea is the same.

Encourage employees to bring in items from home to sell. These items can include knick knacks, clothing or even their own crafts. Allow everyone to “shop” at each other’s desks or set up your business bazaar in a conference room or break room. To keep it simple, make sure that everyone brings and accepts cash only.

These are just a few suggestions but the possibilities are endless. And don’t stress too much about it! After all, that defeats the purpose of a “have fun at work day,” doesn’t it?