Content employees who have fun at work are more likely to avoid the negative effects of stress and anxiety and have even been shown to have a lower heart rate variability (the time interval between beats) with is associated with a risk of disease.
The health effects that happiness has on your workforce will also help to reduce absence costs and reduce presenteeism. If your workers are generally healthier as a result of the increased fun they’re having in the office, then they’ll take less time off due to sickness.
“A vast scientific literature has detailed how negative emotions harm the body. Serious, sustained stress or fear can alter biological systems in a way that, over time, adds up to ‘wear and tear’ and, eventually, illnesses such as heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. Chronic anger and anxiety can disrupt cardiac function by changing the heart’s electrical stability, hastening atherosclerosis [plaque deposits on the lining of arterial walls] and increasing systemic inflammation.”
Advocates act as a powerful force in shaping the public perception of an organisation. Employees that have fun, enjoy what they do, and are engaged will naturally share stories and act as advocates for your brand – on and offline. If every one of your employees shared news and updates about your brand to their own social groups, then your audience will increase exponentially – and for free.
Nearly two-thirds (65%) of knowledge workers collaborate multiple times a day with their colleagues, so encouraging an effective way to improve cohesion within your organisation should be a priority.
Enjoying time with colleagues in a relaxed and fun environment encourages honest and open discussion and trust in one another. If employees are friends with the people they work with, as opposed to simply being colleagues, then they’ll work better together and communicate more effectively.
Having fun with people is a great way for individuals to learn about each other’s traits, likes, dislikes and develop unspoken habits and rules that aid mutual understanding. This knowledge enables them to better understand each other’s boundaries, strengths and weaknesses.
Social ‘play’ is a vital part in healthy creative development. Young children often learn best when they are playing, and that principle also applies to adults.
Individuals’ ability to learn improves when the task at hand is enjoyable and they’re in a relaxed mood. Play can also stimulate imagination, helping people adapt and problem solve.
Creative environments have an atmosphere and activity that is easily distinguishable. There’s a buzz in the air, colleagues are enthusiastic and energetic, and there are lots of conversations happening.
This creative culture can be nurtured by injecting fun initiatives into employees’ daily lives. Challenges and problem-solving exercises, whether as a result of day-to-day activity or introduced in the form of competitions or initiatives, are an effective way to increase innovation within the workforce.
The opportunity that having fun at work provides a business is substantial. Sharing stories about enjoyable atmosphere in your workplace can be a crucial part of a compelling employer branding story and can help to garner attention on social media. Providing a window for people to find out about daily life at your organisation increases familiarity and trust. Whether a potential customer or passive talent, if that individual feels that they ‘know’ your company and can see your ‘human’, fun side then they’ll be more likely to engage with you.
When an employee feels low or sad for any reason, their motivation drops, they may withdraw and communicate less, and may generally be less productive.
There will always be unavoidable events in our lives that make us unhappy, but we cope better and recover faster when we’re surrounded by happiness, support and friendship.