Of course, everyone likes to have fun, but sometimes the recipe for fun in the office isn’t always simple. Here are a few ways that we suggest can help make your office more fun overall, and have your employees look forward to coming into work every day.
We’ve spent a lot of time and energy defining our core company values here at The Receptionist.
We believe that without a specific set of values, it’s hard to cultivate an intentional workplace culture — and an intentional workplace culture helps you attract the best hires and provide radical customer experiences.
At The Receptionist, our values are Fun, Authentic, Bold, Respectful, Innovative, and Collaborative, our FABRIC. We strive to embody FABRIC every day we come into work, and in every interaction with have with our customers and among colleagues.
Fun is the first letter of our FABRIC. When we highlight “fun” as a core value, we mean that we want our employees to enjoy their time at work, and we want our customers to enjoy interacting with our company.
1. Fun Office Games and Activities
These 12 office games are a fantastic way to boost employee engagement, foster team bonding, and create a positive work environment.
Fun and interactive office games to keep your employees engaged:
- Trivia Games: Organize office-wide trivia games on various topics, such as pop culture, history, or company-related facts. You can use trivia apps or create your own questions. Offer small prizes for the winners to add some excitement.
- Escape Room Challenge: Set up an office escape room challenge where teams work together to solve puzzles and complete tasks to “escape” the room within a specific time limit. This game promotes teamwork and problem-solving skills.
- Board Game Tournaments: Host board game tournaments during lunch breaks or after work. Games like Scrabble, Chess, or Settlers of Catan can be great options. Rotate the games regularly to keep the enthusiasm alive.
- Office Olympics: Organize a fun-filled Office Olympics event with games like paper basketball, mini golf, or relay races. Divide employees into teams and award medals or trophies for the winners.
- Desk Decoration Contest: Encourage employees to decorate their desks creatively according to different themes or seasons. Hold a contest and let everyone vote for their favorite desk decorations.
- Guess the Baby Picture: Ask employees to submit baby pictures of themselves, then display them on a board or in a slideshow. Let others guess who each baby is, and award prizes to those with the most correct guesses.
- Puzzle and Lego Challenges: Place jigsaw puzzles or Lego sets in common areas, and encourage employees to work on them during breaks. Collaborative puzzles and building activities can promote teamwork and stress relief.
- Two Truths and a Lie: During team meetings, play the game “Two Truths and a Lie,” where each team member shares three statements about themselves—two truths and one lie. Others must guess which statement is false.
- Office Scavenger Hunt: Organize an office scavenger hunt with clues hidden around the workspace. Teams compete to find the clues and solve the final puzzle or riddle.
- Themed Dress-Up Days: Have themed dress-up days, such as “Superhero Day” or “80s Throwback Day.” Encourage employees to dress up and have a mini fashion show during lunchtime.
- Lunchtime Cook-Offs: Host friendly cook-offs during lunch breaks. Themes could include “Best Sandwich,” “International Cuisine,” or “Healthy Salad.” Employees can enjoy each other’s creations and vote for their favorites.
- Storytelling Circle: Create a storytelling circle where employees take turns sharing funny or interesting personal anecdotes. This activity encourages bonding and builds a sense of community.
Connection-building activities to keep your employees engaged:
Try incorporating any one of these 14 activities to foster connection and a sense of camaraderie with employees and coworkers.
- Virtual Team Building Activities: As remote work becomes more prevalent, virtual team-building games like virtual escape rooms, online trivia contests, or virtual scavenger hunts can help employees bond and collaborate from different locations.
- Collaborative Brainstorming Sessions: Organize brainstorming sessions where teams work together to generate ideas for a specific project or challenge. This encourages creativity and strengthens the team’s problem-solving skills.
- Team-based Charades: Play team-based charades during lunch breaks or after work. Divide employees into teams and have one team member act out a word or phrase while the others guess.
- Story Starters: Start a story by writing the first sentence on a board or shared document. Each employee takes turns adding a sentence to the story. The result is often humorous and fosters creative thinking.
- Virtual Coffee Breaks: Schedule regular virtual coffee breaks or “watercooler chats” where employees can casually chat and catch up with each other. Use video conferencing tools for a more personal touch.
- Office Trivia with a Twist: Host office trivia but include questions about employees’ interests and hobbies. This way, employees can learn more about each other outside of work-related topics.
- Office Pictionary: Play office Pictionary using whiteboards or virtual drawing tools. Employees take turns drawing random objects or company-related terms, and their teammates guess what they’re drawing.
- Company Bingo: Create bingo cards with company-related events, achievements, or inside jokes. Encourage employees to mark off squares as they experience or witness the corresponding events.
- Compliment Circles: Set up a compliment circle during team meetings, where employees take turns giving genuine compliments to their colleagues. This boosts morale and strengthens team relationships.
- Virtual Talent Show: Host a virtual talent show where employees can showcase their unique skills or hobbies. This light-hearted activity helps employees connect on a personal level.
- Guess Who?: Have employees submit interesting facts or hobbies about themselves anonymously. Then, share the facts with the team and have everyone guess which colleague the facts belong to.
- Share Your Playlist: Encourage employees to create and share playlists that reflect their personalities or moods. This allows colleagues to discover and connect over shared musical interests.
- Office Olympics – Work Edition: Create a series of work-related challenges that teams must complete, such as filing paperwork or assembling office furniture. Teams earn points based on their performance.
- Office Book Club: Start an office book club where employees can read and discuss books related to personal or professional development. This encourages learning and promotes meaningful conversations.
2. Host Employee Events and Celebrations
Most offices will shell out for a few baked goods for employee birthdays or at least one annual party, usually during the holidays. However, companies that are truly dedicated to making their offices fun places to show their commitment by encouraging employees to celebrate milestones and bonding over shared interests and experiences. Here are just a few ideas:
Celebrate employee’s milestones: You can commend employees’ work anniversaries in special ways, too, or host events like baby showers or wedding showers to recognize major milestones in employees’ lives.
Celebrate group achievements: Met your monthly sales goal? Made a tight production deadline? Make sure to celebrate your special achievements together in some way. You could head out to a group happy hour or a team lunch, or go for something a little more out-of-the-box like mini-golf or axe-throwing.
Host workday activities: You don’t need to have a specific milestone reached or date just to have fun with your coworkers. Popular office events include group yoga, book clubs, or other meetings dedicated to hobbies or shared interests and causes. Take a poll at your workplace and see what excites people the most!
Hold special events out of the office: Enjoying your coworker’s company outside of the office provides an excellent opportunity for employees to spend time together away from work pressures. A few ideas for fun out-of-office outings include heading out to a local sports game, an arts festival, or an amusement park. Employees can also get to know each other’s families and loved ones at these kinds of events, which helps to strengthen working relationships. Consider implementing ‘no-phones’ policies during these outings to ensure employees aren’t worried about checking email or returning calls and are fully present instead.
Organize group volunteer events: An event where employees volunteer to help a good cause is a great way to demonstrate your company’s commitment to giving back and foster strong bonds between employees. Choose a cause close to your employee’s hearts to help in shared participation. It even gets your organization’s name out in the community.
Keep in mind that although these celebrations can be fun, that doesn’t mean that your office should be in non-stop party mode. Take care not to make these gatherings feel too forced or fill the calendar with events just because you can. After all, mandatory fun is really no fun at all! However, offices do feel more fun when employees are given the chance to celebrate meaningful events and achievements alongside their colleagues and be able to enjoy each other’s company outside of work.
3. Create a “Fun” Office Aesthetic
If you want to send a message to employees, potential hires, and other office visitors that your office values a sense of fun, it helps to incorporate design elements that will reflect that value.
This could take the form of bold, statement-making art pieces or wall fixtures, or choosing to go for bright, whimsical colors and patterns. This aesthetic can be particularly fitting for companies with brands that emphasize creativity in their client services and want to embody that creativity in their branding.
You could also go a step further and invest in office features that encourage employees to embrace playfulness: ping-pong tables, foosball tables, or even craft beers on tap.
For more on fun office features, check out this post: Want to Create a Fun, Playful Office? Add These Elements.
4. Cultivate a Culture of Teamwork and Enthusiasm
Embodying company values always start at the top. In workplaces where leaders haven’t truly prioritized the value of fun, even small attempts at lightening things up can backfire. Office celebrations can feel forced and awkward, and bright colors and decor seem disingenuous or conflicting with the mood of the office.
If leaders pay lip service to wanting employees to have fun in the office but come into work each day stressed out and short-tempered, that disconnect will be stark and help to foster resentment.Leaders may say they want to create a fun work environment, but that means little if they consistently come into work stressed out and short-tempered. Click To Tweet
Similarly, if company leaders consistently create projects and assign deadlines without assessing the impact of those projects and deadlines on the ability of employees to enjoy their work, there’s little chance that the office will feel like a fun place to spend the day.
Keeping in mind that making the decision to keep work “fun” for all employees — including company leadership — doesn’t mean making things consistently easy. At times, it means choosing work that challenges and excites employees and making sure that employees have the support that they need to do their job well. It means cultivating an expectation that employees will support one another and work together so that individuals never have to struggle alone with their workloads. If your employees feel empowered at work to make decisions and take risks, they will look forward to each new day!
For more about workplace culture and how we develop it here at The Receptionist, check out The FABRIC Show, where we publish podcasts, fun videos, and behind-the-scenes glimpses into life at The Receptionist.
Share this Post