How to Balance Productivity and Fun in the Workplace

They call it work for a reason. Your employers expect you to work hard and be productive. After all, that’s what they pay you to do.

On the other hand, there are no rules, written or unwritten, that prohibit you from being productive and having fun at your workplace. Your eight- or ten-hour days can be stressful for you and your team. Lightening things up will make your days flow smoothly and help you be more productive.

Here are a few things you can try:

Make friends

Without friends at work, your days are going to be boring and never-ending. Friends are the key to having a fun and productive workplace. Rather than distracting you, they tend to keep you engaged and performing at your best. And on those days when a dark cloud hovers over your work area, they will be there to cheer you up.

Decorate your workspace

Add your personality to your work area. If you’re in an office, brighten the walls with colorful art. You’ll add pizzazz to the area and raise everyone’s mood and productivity. You can also have plants, posters and photos (work-appropriate only!) to liven things up.

If you work in the plant and have banners of your favorite sports teams, display them prominently each time the Patriots, Bruins, or Red Sox pull off a win. Are you a fanatic? Place some memorabilia in your work area to remind you (and everyone else) who your favorites are.

You could use these same suggestions to give your breakroom a makeover.

Find reasons to celebrate

To make everyone’s day a little brighter, celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, births or anything that gives you a reason to have fun. Assign people to pick up donuts or a cake on the way to work, and you’re all set to party!

Plan some after-work activities

Planning for social activities after work can also be fun. It gives everyone something to look forward to and also provides a good laugh as you discuss your activities the next day. It could be drinks at the local sports bar, a golf or bowling league, or family night at a restaurant or park. It doesn’t matter all that much which activity you choose; it’s the camaraderie that spills over into the workday that’s important.

Dress with a theme

You’ll need to get permission from your senior managers for this one, but you can schedule days when the office attire is replaced by theme clothing. Of course, there’s the obvious St. Patrick’s green, but you can get even more creative. Remember, the 50th anniversary of Woodstock is approaching. Have some fun with that!

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