As you may have heard, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. This phrase is especially true in the workplace, where employees can quickly become burned out if they don’t take some time to have fun.
However, adding fun to the office can quickly dig into your budget if you’re not careful — especially if you begin planning elaborate team-building exercises or purchasing expensive office props.
Fortunately, there are a number of affordable ways to make your office more fun without breaking the bank. In this article, we will explore some of the best options for adding a little bit of joy to your workday.
Why does your office need to be fun?
The workplace should be a fun and enjoyable place to be, and not just because it’s nicer to be happy than sad. Happy employees are proven to produce better results at work, which makes sense considering that emotions are interconnected with your levels of motivation and focus.
Here are just a few reasons why you should prioritize adding a pop of fun to your office:
- It can help with creativity and productivity.
- Fun environments make people happier, which can lead to less stress and more positive attitudes in the office.
- Team activities allow people to get to know one another and build better relationships, which can improve communication and teamwork.
- Fun office activities can help relieve boredom and make the workday more enjoyable.
So, how can you add a touch of fun to your office without spending a lot of money? Let’s take a look at some top affordable ideas.
Decorate the office with plants, posters, quotes, and more
Adding a bit of personality to your office’s décor is a great and affordable way to add some fun. You can buy plants, posters, quotes, and other decorations for very little money, and they can really brighten up the space. Just be sure to avoid going overboard with the decorations so that your office still feels professional.
Some affordable stores to browse for decorations are:
- Dollar stores
- Thrift stores
- Discount stores like Walmart or Target
- Online stores like Etsy or Amazon
Organize team-building activities
Teambuilding activities are a great way to get your team working together and having fun at the same time. They can also help to improve communication and problem-solving skills. Some affordable teambuilding ideas include:
- A scavenger hunt or treasure hunt. You can easily set this up by creating a list of items or tasks that need to be completed and giving teams a specific time limit in which to complete them.
- A trivia quiz. This can be a great way to test your team’s knowledge on various topics, and you can get to know who the office geniuses are!
- A sports day or office Olympics. Get your team active by organizing a range of fun team sports games.
Set up a communal area for relaxation and socializing
If your office doesn’t have a designated relaxation or socializing area, why not set one up yourself? This could be as simple as a few armchairs and a coffee table, which won’t break your budget. Alternatively, you could set up a games area with a pool table, table tennis, or air hockey.
Having a communal space where employees can relax and socialize can help to improve morale and create a more positive work environment, as your employees will have a space to call their own.
Organize office-wide competitions
Another great way to get everyone in the office excited is by organizing fun competitions. Whether it’s a trivia quiz, a bake-off, or a ping pong tournament, these types of events are always popular and can really help to break up the monotony of the daily grind.
You can even run a work-related competition to motivate your employees. For example, you could challenge them to come up with the best new marketing campaign or to achieve a certain sales target within a set timeframe.
Have themed days
Themed days can be a great way to add some fun to your office without breaking the bank. From ’70s day to pajama day, there are plenty of fun themes you can choose from that will get everyone in the mood for a bit of light-hearted fun.
You can also hold themed days on charity dates, like Jeans for Genes day or Red Nose Day, to help raise money for a good cause. There’s nothing like a dress-up day to get your work team smiling!
Have an office potluck
Hosting a potluck is a great way to get everyone in the office involved and feeling festive. Ask employees to bring their favorite dish or snack to share with everyone. Not only will this get your co-workers talking and mingling, but it’ll also give them a chance to try out new foods.
What’s more, you won’t be spending hundreds of dollars on catering.
Create a company mascot
A company mascot is a great way to add some fun and personality to your workplace. It can be anything from a cartoon character to a stuffed animal. And best of all, it doesn’t have to be expensive to create. You can make your own mascot costume, recycle someone’s stuffed teddy, or even use a cardboard cut-out.
Mascots bring fun to the office by providing a focal point for team-building activities and competitions. They can also help to create a sense of identity for your company.
Create separate group chats for casual discussion
One great way to inject some fun into the office environment is to create separate group chats for casual discussion. This can help break up the day and make things a little more interesting. You could set up a group chat for discussing current events, one for sharing funny memes, or even one just for chatting about random topics.
For example, if a number of people in your company enjoy watching anime, you could start a group chat for discussing new episodes, anime memes, and anything else related to the genre. This can be a fun way to bond with your coworkers and get to know them better.
Go on a hike or outdoor adventure together
Getting outside and enjoying nature is a great way to bond with your coworkers and have some fun. You can organize a group hike, go camping or white water rafting, or do any other activity that gets you active and outdoors.
What’s more, you can keep it budget-friendly by planning your own outing and cooking your own meals. Or, if you’d rather have someone else take care of the logistics, check for Groupon deals or discounts at local adventure parks.
Start an office newsletter
This is a great way to keep everyone in the loop on upcoming events, birthdays, and other fun news. You can DIY your newsletter or use a free online service like Paperless Post.
To make it extra fun, you can assign columns to different people in the office and have them contribute articles, jokes, or ‘advice’!
Have a novelty awards night
A great way to have fun with your work team is to hold a funny awards night in the office. Have everyone nominate their colleagues for silly categories like ‘Most Annoying’, ‘Biggest Liar’ and ‘Best Dancer’. You could even get creative and come up with some unique awards like ‘Best Office Pet’ or ‘Most Likely To Succeed’.
You can find super affordable trophies and medals online, or even make your own using cardboard and paint. This is a great way to get everyone in the office laughing and feeling closer to one another.
Regardless of the activity you choose, make sure it’s something that everyone can get involved in. If one of your employees uses a wheelchair, for example, keep their physical limitations in mind when thinking about outdoor activities.
And remember: you don’t need to spend lots of money in order to have a good time! In fact, some of the best activities require a grand total of zero dollars.
Budget-friendly hacks for adding fun to your office
When planning your activity or strategy for adding fun to the office environment, keep these six tips and tricks in mind to protect your budget:
- Look out for vouchers, Groupon deals, and free activities in your area.
- Avoid purchasing anything you can make yourself, and borrow items where possible.
- Plan team-building activities that don’t require special equipment or training, like scavenger hunts, photo challenges, and ice breakers.
- Take advantage of local attractions and venues that offer discounted rates for groups.
- Make sure any expensive activities are only an occasional treat and not a regular occurrence.
- Use social media to get everyone in on the fun by sharing photos, ideas, and challenges.
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas on how to add fun to your office environment without breaking the bank. By following these tips, you can help create a more positive and enjoyable work atmosphere for you and your colleagues.
And, who knows — you may even find that working a little bit harder is more enjoyable when it’s done in a fun and festive environment!