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The Importance of Having Fun at Work

February 9, 2023

By Mary E. Corrado, courtesy SBAM Approved Partner ASE

Part of a healthy culture includes having some fun with the people you work with. ASE runs on a slim team who works hard, but we also play hard – lending itself to a healthy, thriving culture.

It’s important to incorporate some fun while at work.  I believe it’s so important that here at ASE we created a Fun Committee. Throughout the years this committee has evolved and even transitioned to some virtual activities since the pandemic.  Over the years, our fun committee activities have included:

  • Office Olympics
  • Thanksgiving dinner/lunch
  • Annual bowling tournament
  • Pumpkin carving contest
  • Trivia – we’ve done both in-person and virtual
  • Family Feud (virtual)
  • Monthly birthday age game – We have to guess the age of employees with a birthday that month along with 3-4 celebrities and submit our average.  The winner gets bragging rights for that month.
  • We also sing happy birthday each month – our dogs’ ears perk up we are so out of pitch!
  • Monthly birthday and work anniversary Jib Jab videos
  • Virtual happy hour
  • MSU/UofM office tailgate
  • Food Fridays – When in the office we did Food Fridays, where one employee each Friday would bring in breakfast
  • Luau
  • Wine tasting
  • Virtual scavenger hunt
  • Apple orchard/Cider mill
  • Annual Tigers game and tailgate
  • Annual holiday luncheon
  • Charity gamification – Each year we do a drive for a local charity and with 100% participation employees earn one extra holiday

Many of these are low or zero cost – but the value is much higher. Companies of any size and with any budget can incorporate fun into work.

If you are considering launching a fun committee, be sure to get leadership buy-in – it’s important that leadership participates and shows the team that it’s OK to take a break and have some fun. As Bob Nelson, leading worldwide advocate for employee recognition and engagement and author wrote in Harvard Business Review, “Though fun at work is sometimes thought to be a distraction, research suggests that it has a positive impact on engagement, creativity, and purpose—increasing employee retention and reducing turnover.”

So go have some fun!

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