The holidays and festive season have come and gone. 2018 is here and the vast majority of us have returned to work and are looking to get stuck into the challenges a new year brings. In the past many of us would think that this means the fun is over and it is time to put on our serious face. However, let’s not get too serious too early into the New Year. An article I read late last year, ‘The Profit Potential of Investing in 20 Minutes of FUN Each Day’ strongly suggests we need to build fun into our daily operating rhythm. The author, Dave Crenshaw, believes that by creating moments of fun in our work day enables us to rejuvenate our mind, body and spirit. This in turn can improve overall morale, engagement, productivity and profitability. Imagine doing more by having fun!
The author describes these moments of fun as a work ‘oasis’ that enables us to take regular meaningful breaks during our normal working hours. These breaks enable us to refresh our minds, and relax our bodies, ensuring we are ready for the next challenge in our day. While we all recognise that taking regular breaks is essential to our health and wellbeing, many of us start to feel guilty and avoid taking scheduled breaks let alone adding additional ‘FUN’ breaks.
I can imagine that many of you reading this will be thinking ‘Hang on, time is money...’. You will be baulking at the idea of actually encouraging your team to take more breaks. My challenge for you is to think about the long game – the long-term cost of employees who are working themselves too hard, constantly taking sick leave and eventually leaving the team/business. Compare that to employees who take regular breaks, are engaged, refreshed, well-rested and feeling supported and encouraged. A no brainer really!
So, as a leader, how can you encourage your people to build more fun into their days? Dave Crenshaw suggests you should consider the following actions:
- Daily Fun: Think about ways you can facilitate and encourage your team members to take short, meaningful breaks at regular intervals throughout their work day.
- Weekly Fun: Think about a group activity that can be carried out once a week. Perhaps in conjunction with your regular weekly meetings.
- Monthly/Quarterly Fun: Think about monthly, quarterly and annual activities that can be used to create a break from the everyday pressures of the workplace. Look for activities that will refresh and reinvigorate you and your team.
- Lead the Fun: The way in which you role model these behaviours is critical. If you can, demonstrate your commitment to creating the workplace ‘Oasis’ by taking regular breaks throughout the day and your team will follow suit.
There is no doubt that increased productivity and profitability will remain key objectives of any business/team into the foreseeable future. You can ensure you are making a strong contribution to these objectives by creating an environment where your people are encouraged to take the time to refresh and rejuvenate. The way in which you build fun into your day will also strongly influence the behaviours of those around.
So go ahead – have some fun! As Randy Pausch said ‘Never underestimate the importance of having fun.’