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By Lyndsey Nelson

BlogPostAug5It’s time to take a moment and incorporate some fun into the workplace! With the increase in workloads, emails and distractions at work, it can often be hard to focus on doing things that build team and make work enjoyable, fun and stress free. Now is the time!

Team building activities are a great way to motivate employees and promote teamwork, while also giving employees a chance to have some fun with their coworkers. Lots of employers have expressed interest in doing team building activities but they’re stuck because they feel like it has to be a big deal, a full day affair and expensive. Well, you will be happy to learn that it doesn’t have to be a complicated or stressful process to organize team building activities; it can be as easy as incorporating them into your already planned staff meetings or strategic planning days.

You can make work fun and use team building activities for purposes where the outcome isn’t actually about building team, but that’s just a wonderful and beneficial outcome of the activity. For example, maybe you want to raise money for a charity or a food bank in the area. It’s hard to just ask people for money straight up because when you ask, they give it out of obligation. You want people to have an experience or feel like they received something of value in exchange for the contribution.

One way to do this is to organize an activity over a lunch hour with employees so it doesn’t actually take time away from work. There are so many fun and easy games online that you can find like “Minute to Win It” competitions! Who doesn’t like a little friendly competition!? In order for people to participate they have to put a donation in.  The goal may be to raise money or awareness for a specific cause, but some healthy competition, socializing with your coworkers, and having some fun all lead to team building. People will be interested, engaged and excited to participate and give money because they are getting so much more out of it. They will experience a level of fun and engagement that you can’t just generate if you had them sit in a room and asked them to team build.

Team building activities are most successful when having fun while building the team.Tweet: Team building activities are most successful when having fun while building the team #employeeengagement #workisfun @EngagedHR

There are often so many other positive outcomes from team building activities and creating some fun in the workplace. You may see that the rest of the day people are much more productive in their work and are more jovial with each other because they left with such high energy from the activity. You may also start to bring people together and build friendships that may not have otherwise grown. Without a friend at work, work can be a lonely place – studies show that those who have good friends at work are “more engaged in their jobs, are better at engaging customers, produce higher quality work and have higher wellbeing.”[1] It makes work more fun and is a great way to ensure people are committed, loyal and engaged with the workplace – they will ultimately enjoy coming into office.

Team building isn’t always about the obvious! You can do something that appears to be for other people (like raising money for charity), but in fact the big goal is to have people get to know each other and become more friendly with one another. You’re helping to build team without being overt about it.

Your Assignment: Think about an opportune time or meeting where you can incorporate a team building activity for employees. It doesn’t have to be a huge thing, just something employees can work through and enjoy together. Look online for some ideas, or ask around to see if others know of some fun games to try. Give it a go and see how much fun people have when they can relax a little and not think about the work that’s waiting for them, and just enjoy their co-workers company.

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