Has going to work lost any buzz or thrill? Do you want to enjoy this part of your life more?
Did you know that analysis of service industries has found that you have happier customers if you have happier staff? Make work fun again.
Here are a few ideas.
Ideas for bosses
This page contains ideas for making work fun which do not require action by bosses. Ideas for them are on our page about More ways of making work fun.
Ideas for staff
Bring and share lunches. Once a week, arrange for each of your group or team to bring in one contribution each to a lunch. In a team of four you might get one to bring in bread, another to bring in a sandwich filling, another to bring in a salad, and the last to bring in a dessert. Even if it might not be the usual time for lunch, you can do this on the night shift, too.
Pot luck lunches. Take it in turns once a week for one of the group or team to provide lunch for everyone. Pretty hard work compared to bring and share lunches, but the thrill lies in not knowing what may arrive, and you can take it easy when it’s not your turn.
Celebrate different days of the week.
If work is dull, create something else to look forward to. How about these? If you think of others, let us know.
- Moaning Monday. Over morning coffee, colleagues share with each other the worst thing that happened to them over the weekend. Thank goodness for being back at work to get away from the pressures of home life. Be positive about being at work. Being miserable can be infectious. If any of you are good at baking, bring in a cake to share.
- Tarts on Tuesday. Have a rota for bringing in tarts (the kind you eat) on Tuesday. Have a rule that you won’t have the same type of tart two weeks running. Here are some suggestions to get you going: custard tart, jam tart, treacle tart, tarte aux pommes (apple tart).
- Wicked Wednesday. This is the day for spoiling yourself with a small box of chocolates split between your group – no more than one or two chocolates each – enough to feel wicked, but not so many that you feel guilty.
- Thank goodness it’s Thursday. One of the group each week buys or bakes cakes for afternoon tea on Thursday. (If Friday is the last day of the working week for you, it’s already close enough to the weekend not to need to do something special.)
- Flipping Friday. Once a month make or buy pancakes and a few different fillings and have a shared meal during your midday break.
Forbidden phrases. A lot of us fall into the habit of using redundant phrases unknowingly, such as adding “to be honest” to the start of an answer (as if you tell lies the whole of the rest of the time). If you identify a phrase like this, ban it for a week, and count the number of times you or others use it. Don’t try this with one of your boss’s favourite phrases, unless you know that they will go along with your idea.
Smile more. If you smile, you automatically feel happier. If smiling isn’t easy, try gripping a pencil between your teeth and across your mouth for five minutes. The effect is the same as smiling.
Thank others. You would like others to recognise what you do and to reward you by acknowledging it. Do the same for them by thanking them for a good job. They will almost certainly appreciate it, and that may be enough to make you feel better. With luck, you will find that the compliment is occasionally returned.
2 March 2010