Standard, plain and dull. Is that how you would describe your office? If you’re nodding your head, you aren’t alone. Standard, plain and dull topped the list of how employees described their office in the Staples Business Advantage 2016 Workplace Index survey. Fun, engaging and motivating were among the bottom responses. This begs the question: are our current office structures meeting the wants and needs of employees?
While the office isn’t necessarily a place to be having the time of your life (it’s still a place of business, after all), a little laughter and office comradery can help increase motivation, employee engagement, and help to increase employee retention. We spend the majority of our waking hours in the office, so it should be a space we strive to make enjoyable so that employees come to work each day with a positive and energized attitude.
Of course there is a fine line between having fun and focusing on the bottom line, but finding the balance might be easier than you think. Throwing a company carnival might not be in the budget, but simple additions to the workday to boost employee morale don’t have to be big, costly gestures.
Fast Company gives us a list of easy ways to add a little bit of fun to the office, like bringing a pet to work, decorating your cubicle (see our Pinterest board for inspiration), or starting a group exercise club.
There are of course certain industries or workplace scenarios where bringing workers together for a group activity isn’t a feasible or easy task. Celebrating with your employees is great, but simply celebrating your employees through recognition and praise can lead to the same end results: increased motivation and productivity. Employee engagement levels are almost three times higher when they receive recognition. So if you don’t have one already, now might be a good time to look into an employee recognition program.
Aside from an engaging, motivating and fun workplace, what else are employees looking for from the workplace in 2016? Find out from the 2016 Workplace Index report. Download the full report here.