At face value, sure, work is about productivity. But to think that's the only thing that drives a business or motivates employees is an antiquated, utilitarian nightmare. Because when you really get down to it, work is much more than that. It's often about fulfilling a company's core mission and fulfilling employees' professional goals. And that is one of the many reasons that fun is such an important aspect of work culture.
We intrinsically understand that fun is important. We know that we feel good when work is fun and that we perform better when we feel good about the work we're doing and the team with whom we work. But let's dig a little deeper, shall we? Why is it ACTUALLY important to have fun at work?
1. Fun improves creativity.
Looking to improve innovation at your company? Want to unleash creative thinking to better solve your company or customers' biggest challenges? Well, maybe if you want better outcomes, you should start by making the process more fun.
According to CIPHR, fun breeds creativity, which can drive better collaboration among teammates, more free-flowing ideas, and more creative solutions. And a 2017 study in the Journal of Vocational Behavior reveals that employees in fun work environments are less stressed about making mistakes, which results in their willingness to try new things.
2. Fun strengthens team relationships.
Think about your favorite coworkers. What is it about them that makes you enjoy working with them? More often than not, the answer is that they make work more fun. Now, don't confuse that for goofing off and being distracting... many teams are MORE productive when they regularly have fun together. Why? Because fun builds trust and allows employees to understand more about each other. Knowing your teammates more thoroughly means you can play to each others' strengths. And, according to Michael J. Tews, a lead researcher at Penn State University, having fun at work may also improve employee resilience and optimism, which leads to better attention to detail in completing tasks.
3. Fun leads to better learning at work.
This one is the real kicker. The research conducted by Tews and his team revealed that fun "has more of an impact on employee learning than whether an employer has created a climate for learning."
So, those in-depth learning or training seminars your company planned? They're great. But you know what's more cost-effective AND more effective generally? HAVING FUN WITH YOUR TEAMMATES. Because employees learn better when they're collaborating, and because positive, fun relationships result in better collaboration and problem-solving, employees are learning more than they even knew they were. It's mind-blowing.
So, if your finance team or company management is giving you a hard time about planning a fun event for your team, don't panic. Just show them the research! Companies that have fun together are also performing better together.
Looking for a partner to help you plan your next company fun activity? ZogCulture would love to help!