Have you ever had that job that was just painful to go to? Sure, the people are nice enough, and the pay is decent. But at the end of the day you walk out the front door and can’t help but think of reasons to not show up the next day. You can’t bear the same trite, PG jokes and stale coffee. It’s just not a fun place to be.
Companies like Apple and Google have found ways of making the workplace fun, without sacrificing productivity. From slides that transfer people between floors, to free beer in the lunchroom, the options are nearly limitless when it comes to big name (and big budget) companies.
But why is fun the new way of business, and how can a smaller company reap the benefits of having a fun workplace without paying a big price?
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Involve Your Team
At the end of my first week at Marketing in Color, the team and I were taken out to a happy hour, and spent a good portion of the evening getting to know each other beyond just the scope of work. Upon coming into work the next Monday, not only did everyone have a bit more of a spring in their step, but we were talking more frequently and on a more personal level. This has kept spirits high and fostered closer working relationships.
Let People Show Their Value
One of the greatest things Marketing in Color has done to foster a positive work environment has been doing an ongoing series of “Lunch ‘n Learns” where employees gather together (often around a home-cooked meal courtesy of our CEO) and educate each other on a specific topic. It is a fun, relaxed environment where we learn, socialize, and get the chance to share knowledge with the team on any topic we choose. We bring up new workflows and discuss what’s trending in our respective fields. It makes us keep an eye to the future, and anticipate what a client might need before it goes mainstream.
You don’t have to install a slide or pay for free beer to make your employees happy. In my first week of working at Marketing in Color, one of the owners walked into a meeting with an armload of toys. Everyone grabbed one and ran back to their desks. These have been the best stress relievers I have ever seen. Personally, I do a lot of work editing and managing our Digital Asset Management system, which means a lot of staring at a computer screen. Whenever I need a break I wage Nerf war on one of the employees here. It’s quick, and it gets us up and moving. But most importantly, it’s fun. Don’t believe me? Just watch!
Every office environment is different, so find what works best with the people you work with, and you will be surprised at how people will go the extra mile every day.
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