Happy summer everyone! This is the time of year when everyone’s attention turns to the outdoors, time off, and hopefully slowing down a bit. And that then begs the question – how can you best support your staff such that they get to enjoy the summer season and you still are ensured that everything that needs to get done will get done?
Let me suggest that the first step is as simple as making sure everyone has the tools they need to succeed. By allowing your troops to do what they do best with the right products and tools, instead of dealing with issues that are likely not their strong suit, you free everyone up to be more effective and, yes, have some fun.
Fun? You bet. Fun is good for business. It turns out that there are all sorts of very real business reasons for loosening the reins a bit and giving people the room to have a good time. First of all, it results in better productivity; research has shown that people who enjoy their work and have fun at the office are in fact significantly more productive than people who are bored.
And not only that, but allowing for some fun at the office offers additional benefits, such as
- Stress relief: All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and Jill a dull girl, and no one wants dull employees.
- A boost of morale. When people work at jobs where the culture is one of tedium or over-overwork and stress, they are less happy, and unhappy employees are a drain on resources – they call in sick more, work less hard, and so on. Conversely, fostering fun at work makes employees happier. And happier employees means . . .
- Happier customers: When your staff likes working where they work, they are of course happier and more enthusiastic, and as a result, customers can feel that. Customers usually love real enthusiasm. Consider: Would you rather buy from a store where the staff is bored silly and resentful or one where employees have a good time and like what they do? Exactly.
All of this makes sense, does it not? The clear benefits of having a light culture are a main reason why such innovative, cutting-edge companies as Facebook incorporate into their workplace things like scooters, video games, and other tools that promote a casual, fun culture. Employees at companies like these work hard, but play hard too.
For the small business, making similar changes need not be expensive or difficult. For instance, you could
- Install a basketball hoop in the parking lot.
- Put a ping ping-pong or foosball ball table in the break room.
- Put in an Xbox Box or other video game system.
The important thing to get is that an enjoyable culture leads to a more enjoyable workplace, and everyone enjoys that.
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