Why is it that people dread the work week so much?
They complain about having a “case of the Mondays.” Wednesday comes with the burden of getting over the humpday. By Friday, everyone seems to be just thanking unseen forces for gracing us with the fortitude to survive another five days before retreating to our respective escapes on the weekend. #ThankOprahItsFriday.
But there’s no reason to trudge along your week so hopelessly. Your attitude will change if you assign purpose to each day and toss out the lazy Garfield memes that predetermine your daily energy levels.
Because time is, like, just a construct, man. Can you envision a work week where there’s actually something to look forward to each day? Just a little injection of fun that breaks up the drone of deskwork.
Research actually encourages breaks from work to help improve productivity and engagement. And — wouldn’t you know it — employees who are engaged in their workplace drastically outperform those who are not. In fact, disengaged employees cost companies hundreds of billions of dollars in lost productivity each year, according to a Gallup report.
So how does one approach each day during the work week to promote and maintain office well-being, productivity, and engagement?
The way we picture it, it would look something like this:
Start your week off the right way and incorporate 30 minutes of play or movement. Studies show exercising with colleagues can boost morale and lower stress, all while encouraging accountability and improving productivity.
Ideally, a group activity will benefit the team more, but if schedules and meetings get in the way of that, even just taking a leisurely walk to get the blood pumping can refresh you and help with stress.
Make sure you’re beginning the week with movement to help propel you forward into the coming days instead of anchored to the weekend behind you.
Isolation isn’t good for anyone, and yet, it afflicts workplaces everywhere. If you’ve ever felt that cold, distant feeling at work, you are not alone! One-third of Americans say they feel lonely at least once a week, according to a survey conducted by the Harris Poll.
One way to prevent feelings of loneliness is to engage with your coworkers. When you feel closer to those working around you, the workplace feels much less like a suffocating hellscape where your dreams go to die and more like a cozy nook where friends and work live in harmony.
Team-building functions go a long way toward establishing camaraderie and meaningful personal connections outside the office. Countless exercises can accomplish this such as gathering the team for board games and collaborative puzzles or taking turns highlighting employees’ different cultures each week.
We recommend: icebreaker bingo during team huddle, potluck lunch where work conversation is prohibited, and office game night.
There are weeks when you’re swamped, still bleary-eyed from the last project you finished. Just when you think you’re about to drown, someone extends a helping hand and provides a crucial assist when you needed it the most. These kind of coworkers should be celebrated as the winners they are.
On Wednesdays, name an MVP of the office to highlight someone’s work and the values upheld by the company. Instead of weighing yourself down and dragging your feet up the midweek hill, lift someone else up and watch how your spirit rises too.
We recommend: rotating who gets to crown the team MVP each week, buying lunch for the winner, and designating a trophy or “wall of champions.”
Why fix something that isn’t broken? The end of the week is near and $2 tacos are calling your name. Go to them, oh, weary worker. But don’t forget to share this time and a beer (or four) with those braving the frontline with you.
Leave no coworker behind, as they say.
We know alcohol can lubricate conversation, but it can also promote more social bonding in general. So be sure to organize a weekly meet at the nearest watering hole from the office so everyone can participate and indulge in cheap drinks and rich banter.
We recommend: establishing a regular happy hour spot, organizing drink and food specials with the bar manager, and taking/sharing photos to help encourage more people to attend each week.
No, that’s not a typo. We’ve all heard of Casual Friday, a day that somehow begat wearing Hawaiian shirts as an acceptable practice away from the beach.
We’re pretty into the idea of allowing employees to express individuality, but you know what’s more fulfilling than swapping out ties for polo shirts? Giving attention to a cause you care about.
Whether you’re promoting a foundation near and dear to an employee’s heart or a remarkable act of kindness witnessed by someone, spotlighting a meaningful campaign and potentially working with philanthropic organizations promotes purpose and encourages people to reflect on the good they are capable of. Those driving forces widen the scope beyond the office and anchor the values the company upholds while helping the community at large.
We recommend: asking each employee to select a cause/charity and featuring them each month in an all-hands or internal newsletter (discussing why it’s important to the employee), participating in a neighborhood cleanup, and organizing a food/clothing drive.
What are some things that your company does to incorporate FUN into the workplace every day? Share your ideas and success stories in the comments.
For more tips on how PLAY can improve your workplace, follow us here at the Zog Blog or give us a shout on Twitter!