Equinet prides itself on its 5 key values.
My personal favourite? Lightness of heart.
Having lightness of heart means, “while we take what we do seriously, we endeavour to keep our sense of fun and stay calm under pressure.”
Unfortunately, the old-fashioned view would have it that the office is where we dress corporate, out-work each other, act serious, and dampen the real version of our personality. To some, it’s simply unimaginable to ‘have a laugh’ at work.
But this is 2018, and the angle taken by CIPHR in this article is extremely refreshing. It explores the concept of fun and laughter in the office, concluding that it improves the mental focus, clarity and productivity of the team.
Absence and absenteeism is a significant problem, impacting the productivity of businesses as much as the loss of 6.9 days per year.
According to Harvard School of Public Health, “negative emotions harm the body.”
”Chronic anger and anxiety can disrupt cardiac function by changing the heart’s electrical stability, and sustained stress or fear can alter our biological systems in such a way that over time, cause wear and tear that eventually leads to illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes.”
In that same vein, have you ever been so happy or excited that work becomes a breeze; you’re more productive and pleasant to be around, and you’re more patient with your fellow employees? Even if you feel a minor sniffle coming on, you refuse to give in to illness and fight it off without so much of a second thought. The relationship between happiness and health is one that’s been researched for years, and happier people are even said to live longer lives. So it’ll come as no surprise that happier employees generally take less sick days.
What’s more, having fun together helps with employee bonding, creativity and collaboration. It boosts communication and encourages advocacy. Happier employees shape the public perception of your brand, and ultimately, happier employees equal happier customers.
We spend more time at work than anywhere else: it’s estimated that you will spend 35% of your waking hours at work over a 50-year career. So why not make that time enjoyable?
I'll finish with a few examples of Equinet's take on good ol' fashioned fun:
- Equinet 'happy hour' - every fourth Friday, the team finish the week off at the local pub for an hour of drinks on Equinet.
- Woody the ‘inbound hound’ - joining in our daily stand-ups, eating our leftover lunch scraps, and demanding regular cuddles, Woody is a delight to have around the office.
- Purple Monday - our take on 'Blue Monday', the team gathered on the 'most depressing day of the year' to eat pizza and watch comedy.
- Regular baking - because cake.
- Learning lunches - 'always be learning' is another Equinet value we promote internally. Plus, learning lunches give us space to breathe and collaborate over sandwiches and crisps.
- Annual summer party - last year saw the team climbing inflatables and indulging in watersports at Box End Aqua Park. This year's activity is yet to be decided...
Happy employees are healthier and more productive – so don’t overlook the importance of having fun in the workplace While most people, generally, would rather spend time with their friends and family than be at work, there’s no need for work days to be all doom and gloom. Investing time and effort into making your workplace a more enjoyable place to be can have tangible positive benefits for employees, teams, and your wider organisation. Here are seven reasons why fun should be part of your HR strategy.