Prank Away: Fun At Work Increases Productivity

by | September 5, 2014

Joking around in the office appears to have more benefits than increasing employee morale – it also has a positive impact on productivity – who knew?

Turns out companies known for their quirky office culture see more than just happier employees. Stuart Brown, Founder of the National Institute of Play, had this to say: “There is good evidence that if you allow employees to engage in something they want to do, (which) is playful, there are better outcomes in terms of productivity and motivation.”

Leadership may think allowing employees to engage in fun activity is subject to abuse, leading to unproductive, distracted employees. Companies like Zappos, Google, and an increasing number of growing startups argue just the opposite.

Zappos inserts fun right into its core values. Creating “fun and a little weirdness” is expected of employees – we’re all quirky and Zappos wants to showcase it from all team members. Google, Oracle, Twitter, and more have massage rooms, nap rooms, and games galore on their campuses.

What do fun, creative breaks lead to in the workplace? Lowered stress and increased motivation. When workers are able to have some fun doing something they enjoy they’re far less stressed. Lower stress levels ultimately lead to higher motivation to work harder. It makes sense – when you enjoy doing something you want to do more of it.

One other important aspect of increased happiness is surprise and delight. Your company likely doesn’t have a Google employee happiness budget, but you can still show your employees a good time. Surprise treats like beer and pizza on Wednesday, a company mini-golf outing or a hilarious game of Cards Against Humanity show your employees your culture is one of fun, inclusion and more than just work.

No matter what your budget find a way to add some fun to your employees’ workday – it’ll pay off big immediately.