Billed as an opportunity to dress down, partake in office-based games, or enjoy a pizza buffet, National Fun at Work Day is a real thing.
No one seems to know who created it. Congress hasn’t voted on it. And technically speaking, it’s not an official holiday. But every year, offices across the country celebrate this holiday during the last week in January – typically on the last Friday of the month.
We all experience days where work can really feel like “work,” especially during these unprecedented times. Whether you’re back in the office or working at home, you may face daily challenges such as:
Designating a single day to balance work with fun is a simple way to help boost employee morale. You probably won’t see any productivity increases on National Fun at Work Day, but you may notice a boost in motivation in the days or weeks that follow. Happier employees tend to work harder.
According to some experts, offering perks is a proven way to help increase overall job satisfaction.1 Perks don’t have to be monetary – nor should they be limited to one Friday in January. To keep the spirit of National Fun at Work Day going throughout the year, think about offering things like:
These are all tiny investments that end up producing noticeable (and profitable) results. National Fun at Work Day is a great moment to announce or implement some of the above-mentioned perks.
There are many different ways to celebrate this unofficial holiday. Here are some ideas to help you get started.
If your staff usually follows a dress code, wears a certain uniform, or tends toward office formal, consider removing this requirement for National Fun at Work Day. Better still, you can choose a theme and encourage your employees to dress up in costume.
If you have the budget, you can splurge on a catered lunch for your staff. This is best planned in advance since other offices may have the same idea – and local restaurants could be overwhelmed with orders. If your budget doesn’t have much wiggle room, consider doing a potluck instead.
From Workaholics to Parks and Recreation to The Office, there are a ton of hilarious office-themed shows and movies you can binge-watch with your team. Set up TVs in cafeterias or conference rooms where employees can watch during breaks and lunchtime.
Nothing builds team cohesion better than a little friendly competition. So, for this year’s National Fun at Work Day:
Many of these games can be played in-person, but if you’re working virtually, try an app like 20 Questions or Pictionary. It might take a little creativity, but there are plenty of ways to have fun over online chat.
More and more people are working from home nowadays, with teams spread out all over the country, or even the globe. Distance shouldn’t hold you back from connecting and celebrating with the people whom you work with day in and day out.
Since most remote employees are likely working in more casual clothes (at least from the waist down), suggest a fun theme and have everyone dress up for the occasion.
Do you have any trivia buffs on your team? Whether you decide to challenge your staff’s pop culture skills or test their sports knowledge, this can be a fun event for all. Award prizes to the winning teams or individuals.
From sip and paint nights to cooking lessons, there are companies that can provide guided instructions virtually. Get your team together and see where creativity takes you.
Wherever and however you celebrate, make sure you take time to recognize your team and its accomplishments – especially during these uncertain times. And remember – have fun and don’t work too hard!
1 “5 Reasons Employee Benefits Increase Staff Performance,” HR Technologist, 11 October 2019