Do you know how to have fun at work while staying productive?
If you are like most people who are allocated a maximum of one month leave per year or you are a businessperson whose work draws no boundaries between social and work time, you are better off choosing a career path that is fulfilling.
Fulfillment is achievable when you find joy in what you do.
But is it realistic? Can you have fun in what you do for a living while still meeting goals?
Yes, it’s possible.
Let’s discuss ways on how to have fun at work while staying productive at all times.
Do What You Love
What drives you to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to go to work? Follow your dreams. Make it your goal to make a living from your passion. Invest time and resources to see it happen.
Numerous research studies found a strong link between job dissatisfaction, stress, and cardiovascular illnesses.
You see, the human body tends to absorb psychological problems and manifest them in the form of diseases. However, you can avoid this if you choose a career path that you enjoy.
Doing what you love boosts your self-esteem, makes you feel motivated to push through hard times, and become more engaged in your work.
This, therefore, translates to higher productivity.
However, sometimes, you have to do what you don’t love in the short term to build what you prefer in the long-term. This is also acceptable, to an extent.
Just be sure to set limits for yourself for how long you can put up with a bad job.
Create a Conducive Working Environment
Your work environment significantly affects work productivity and efficiency.
This includes the physical workplace and the working relationships you have with fellow workmates, superiors, suppliers, and customers.
A healthy workplace improves workers’ motivation, makes stressful work manageable, and maintains a perspective of your workplace as your second home.
Use this mindset to make the workplace as conducive as possible.
Here are some tips on how to have fun at work while staying productive:
If you are an employee:
- Start at your workstation. Does your desk look inviting? Include a small bulletin board with photos of your loved ones and your best moments at work. On the same board, pin reminders and work goals. Visual images enhance our memory.
If you are a manager:
- Have all the resources needed to execute your duties at hand. Such resources include the right equipment, updated software, and a working protocol free of bureaucracy. Also, have a back-end team that is ready to solve any issues that are raised by your juniors.
- In addition, maintain an open communication policy. Employees should not feel intimidated to express their views and opinions freely.
- Set clear, achievable goals and subsequent rewards for achieving those goals. By having competitive rewards, employees are motivated to put in more effort to achieve them.
- Tone down any politicking that negatively affects the unity of your team.
- Appreciate and utilize feedback to improve the company.
- Keep the office safe.
- Maintain recreational facilities for employees.
Have Regular Breaks
No matter the kind of work you do, purposely take regular fun breaks. Imagine working at the emergency unit of a referral hospital or working on a monotonous task that takes months to accomplish.
The demands in such environments seldom offer any opportunities to have fun at work while staying productive.
Taking regular breaks come in handy as a way to re-energize, break the boredom, and de-stress before taking up the next task.
These breaks are not limited to taking lunch or a mid-morning tea break. It could be in the form or a weekend getaway for your team to refresh and re-evaluate your current goals.
Here’s a list of regular break ideas for how to have fun at work while staying productive.
- If you are an ER doctor, for example, ask the nurse to schedule your visit to the children’s ward. While there, interact and play with the kids as part of the appointment.
- Make it a habit to take your meals away from your desk, preferably outside the office buildings. Use this opportunity to stretch.
- If you work as a scientist or laboratory technician, take a break from studying raw data and call your loved ones. Use the time away to reflect on the information and try to make connections with them.
- Tune in to your favorite podcast. Learn a new skill. Better still, make an educational video summarizing the skills you’ve acquired so far. Such a video is an excellent training resource for the human resources staff when carrying out orientation for new employees.
- Have you hit a snag in your current target goal? Take a hiking trip with your team or volunteer at your local children’s home.
In addition to taking breaks, adopt the Pomodoro working style. Using this system, you list the tasks to be accomplished. Then, you break the tasks into smaller, manageable portions.
Next, you use a timer to alternate from one function to another. This style works best when the jobs are achievable independently.
Overworking with very few breaks in between puts you at the risk of job burnout. A job burnout ultimately leads to low productivity. Replace working hard with working smart.
Know Your Limits
Have you taken a SWOT analysis of your capabilities and challenges? The results of such a test can help you decide which tasks to take up and which to turn down.
By knowing your limits, you can manage expectations while meeting your deadlines. You would rather wow your clients than under impress them.
So how do you do great work consistently?
- Work flexible hours. Such a work schedule ensures you do not miss essential family functions. You are also better prepared to work with clients around the globe, regardless of their current time.
- Prioritize your work. Allocate more time to critical tasks. Reschedule or delegate the less important work such as clerical duties to other employees.
- Consider outsourcing non-core functions. This enables you to concentrate on your passion and avoid getting bogged down by administrative tasks.
The Bottom Line
Office efficiency is easily achievable when you have happy employees. By gradually changing your current work habits, you can learn how to have fun at work while staying productive.
Unless you are working in a factory setting with strict structural procedures and little room for having fun, almost all other jobs are customizable, allowing for fun activities that still deliver.