Is your office sort of blah? Are your coworkers disengaged? Do you often find work and your workspace boring and drab?

Traditional wisdom states the following: “Work is not supposed to be fun. That’s why it’s called work.” A corollary of this principle states that if you see someone having fun at work, they’re slacking off. However, research shows that this dismal view of work is completely wrong.

Whether you’re a solopreneur, a start-up with five people or running a multinational corporation, here are 7 creative, effective, and downright fun ways to help boost morale AND productivity.

Decorate your office!

Just because it’s an office, doesn’t mean it has to be an office. When you spend such a significant amount of time in one space, it’s important that it reflects not only the culture of the company, but the personalities of the staff. Get creative and bring in some of your favorite items to enhance your office or cubicle. Hang a poster, bring a plant, decorate with bright bold trinkets. A nice work environment might even convince you to–gasp–look forward to work!

A good snack stash

Stocking a snack drawer is cheap and creates a focal point for conversation in the office. It also keeps people really happy, because they don’t have to constantly run out of the office if they want a bite to eat. A small dish of bite-sized candy bars, or a tray of gourmet chocolates will make you the most popular person in the office.

Have a good laugh

Share your favorite jokes, comics or have a stand-up comedian come to your office during lunch time. Maybe there is a joke of the day or week which gets sent out electronically first thing in the morning. Not only does it give people a good laugh, but also something to look forward to. Creating ways to laugh in the office has many benefits here are a few:

  • It helps build camaraderie.

Create a collaboration board

Hang up a whiteboard in a central area and write “Question of the Week” in big black letters on it. Ask employees to contribute by writing their answers on the board. Just before you erase the board to start a new week, take a picture and put together a scrapbook and make it a holiday gift for your employees. It could also be a large coffee book to have on display in the lobby for guests to view.

Start a 30-Day happiness challenge

In his book, “The Happiness Advantage”, Harvard-trained positive psychologist Shawn Achor explains that having happy employees gives companies a competitive advantage. He further argues that employees can rewire their brains for happiness by following 6 simple habits for a period of 30 days. Thirty days later you’ll have happier, more productive, and more creative employees.

Take a few minutes every day to get up and walk around

Even when you’re crazed, taking a few minutes to get up and out of your chair clears your mind and makes you more ready for the next task.

If you can get out of the office for a bit, that’s even better. When there is something complicated to discuss or if the meeting you are having is just a talking meeting, suggest taking a walk to Starbucks to talk about it. The hit of fresh air, the promise of caffeinated goodness, and a foray with a colleague or a team makes any conversation more palatable.

Compliment someone every day

When a coworker tells you they liked the idea you pitched in the morning meeting, or the new painting you put up in your office, it makes you feel good. Return the compliment to others by mentioning how much you like something of theirs.

You’ll actually feel just as good giving the compliment as you do receiving it. And bonus tip — you can also do this electronically or in a handwritten note. I keep a stash of notecards in my desk and use them to write notes of gratitude.

These are simple ways you can incorporate fun into the office. And if you might be thinking, “I’d love to do these things at work, but I’m not the boss”, try out a few of these with some co-workers. Arm yourself with their testimonials and all the evidence Google will share with you which proves that having fun at work makes employees more productive and more creative. Take all of this to your boss and convince him or her to introduce some of the activities described above into the workplace. If you need a little communication boost on how to speak with your boss, give me a shout. I am launching a new 6 week course to help gain the courage to ask for what you need.

We fix communication and collaboration by building a team of super-performers who will lead your company into the future.