Bob Pike, author of "The Fun Minute Manager" , explains that bosses need to lighten up and that they should strive to create an office culture that is fun and enjoyable. He adds that bringing fun into the workplace reduces employee turnover, increases creativity and innovation, makes employees more productive, and it’s good for the bottom line.

A fun work environment is one in which regular activities are scheduled that are designed to uplift people’s spirits and remind them of their value to their boss and to the organization as a whole. This can be done through the use of humor, games, celebrations, or recognition of achievements.

For both managers and employees looking for ways to bring more levity to the workplace, here are five ideas you can start implementing right away:

Establish a Routine that Energizes the Office in the Afternoon

Most people need an energy boost in the afternoon. At Microsoft they blast music at three o’clock when everyone’s energy is starting to slump: some people get up and dance and everyone claps when the song is over. At another office they spin in their chairs for thirty seconds around two in the afternoon. Another idea is to take a quick coffee break in which you can watch a short stand-up comedy routine on DVD in the coffee room.

Have Friendly Competitions

There are many companies that set up a basketball court in the parking lot so that employees can have basketball tournaments during their lunch breaks. Others send out an email with a riddle or a puzzle each Monday and offer a small prize to the first person that solves it. Still others have pie eating contests, dart contests, or office chair relay races.

Bring Some Fun to Meetings

In the book “The Levity Effect: Why It Pays to Liven Up”, bestselling author Adrian Gostick and comedian Scott Christopher explain that researchers have reported that humor during meetings was found to “facilitate a transition from a feeling of tension and defensiveness to a realization of relative safety and playfulness.”

Some companies start their meeting with a Laughter Yoga session to encourage people to loosen up and bring forth their best ideas. Other companies make sure that there’s coffee, food and candy available during meetings. Still others provide fun props, such as wooden blocks, silly putty, and foam swords.

Get Together Outside of the Office

On the last Thursday of each month go to a pub or restaurant together and celebrate anniversaries, office birthdays, and goals and milestones reached. You can also have barbeques in July, Frisbee tournaments in the park, and an office outing to a baseball game.

Create a Humor Bulletin Board

Create a humor bulletin board and hang it up in a visible place. Look for cartoons and jokes which poke fun at the circumstances that cause negativity or conflict in the office. You can also encourage people to bring in funny vacation photos or pictures of their kids or pets doing something comical. Candid photos of employees are also a fun addition to the humor bulletin board.


An organization called the Great Place to Work Institute has consistently found that companies that are classified as "great" score unusually high marks from employees on the question: "Are you working in a fun environment?" You can start applying the suggestions above so that you can start answering “yes” to that question.

Author's Bio: 

Written by Marelisa Fabrega. You can read more about having fun in the workplace by reading her blog post Have Fun at Work and Increase the Bottom Line. Marelisa is the author of the ebook "How to Be More Creative".