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Funny Business – 5 ways to play at work and get more done

September 27, 2010

Can having fun at work boost productivity? Professor Babis Mainemelis from London Business School thinks so, his study with Sarah Ronson found that: “Play at work improves employees’ motivational and cognitive processes and diversionary play fosters creativity.”

innocent smoothies office
innocent are a very successful company and they enjoy promoting a fun and creative workplace 

See the film: innocent success is an inspirational and thought-provoking film that highlights the factors behind innocent’s achievements. This is a chance to go behind-the-scenes of this award-winning workplace and multi-million pound business, and learn some of their secrets to get the very best out of people.

Click here for a link to this film

And the Institute for Social Research found that companies with high employee engagement saw a 13.2% improvement in net income growth over a one year period.

Innocent smoothies grew their business from nothing to £100 million in just eight years with grass flooring, table football and an indoor picnic area, see how here.

So here are 5 fun ideas to get your team working smarter:

1. Move the meeting – rather than meeting in a conference room go for a walk or out to a bar, park or museum. It will be more memorable, more creative and you’ll very likely have more meaningful discussions

2. Have a dress up Friday – most organisations now have a more informal dress codes or ‘dress down days’, so why not ring the changes with a ‘dress up day’ Come to work in Black Tie and Ball Gowns. Decorate the office with chandeliers and drink sparkling water from champagne flutes. Why? It will raise some smiles and break down barriers between departments.

3. Run a lunchtime pub quiz – with the right topics and questions it’s possible to communicate key facts about the business in an entertaining way

4. Re-introduce tea breaks – years ago at 10.30 a bell would ring and everyone would down tools and take a tea break. In an age of 24/7 working most offices don’t have set break times, consequently people have less opportunity to informally share workplace news. Bring back daily coffee breaks and you’ll be surprised how much internal communication improves.

5. Start with a stretch – millions of Chinese start the day with Tai Chi, as with any exercise it helps the brain as much as the body. Ask volunteers to lead a gentle morning workout, a different routine each day.

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