The song “Working for the Weekend” nailed it on the head. More often than not, employees at companies all over the world roll out of bed, begrudgingly travel to work and go through their work day as if they are in some sort of trance – getting work done as if they were on auto-pilot before heading back home, slinking on their couch and watching TV, angrily knowing that they have to repeat the process all over again the next day. But work doesn’t have to be that way.
Yes, work can be stressful and even boring at times, but the best jobs are the ones that are actually fun. When the work day is spiced up in a variety of ways, your job becomes more interesting and satisfying – the kind of place you actually look forward to coming to each day. Here are some ways to make your work life just a little more fun:
Get Athletic. Sports bring people together, whether you join the company softball team (if they don’t have one, start one) or find some co-workers to join a bowling league. Make an experience out of it. Rather than just play ball or go bowling, make sure to hit the bar afterwards and celebrate your big win or drown your miseries in a pint of beer – either way, the after party is almost as much fun as the actual event. And if softball and bowling aren't your thing, get some co-workers together for a few pick-up basketball games, or a round of golf. Athletics bring people together in a way that no other activity does. It will build camaraderie and teamwork and give everyone something to be upbeat at work about. You’ll be amazed at how much more you’ll enjoy work when you have teammates you can rely on to help get the job done.
Sing a little. If your company doesn’t do it, maybe it is time to organize a karaoke outing. You don’t have to sing. It’s almost more fun watching your co-workers get so emotionally invested in a song. Going out for a night of karaoke helps to bring everyone together and gives everyone something to talk about around the water cooler. There is something about seeing co-workers let loose of their inhibitions that helps create new friendships and strengthen bonds. Those co-workers you used to fear talking to suddenly got a little more interesting. You may think it won’t help your work day, but when you work in teams or have to deal with co-workers in order to get a specific project done, it’s nice to be able to laugh a little while accomplishing your goals.
Take a break. Some girls like to go to the bathroom together and that serves as their refuge from a busy work day. Some groups like to smoke and relax a little outside where they can vent. The best way to enjoy a break might be going to lunch together. Take a nice walk and try a different place – either way, there is nothing like sitting at a table and not having to look at a computer screen for about an hour. Now, talk about your plans for the weekend, vent about your day and just enjoy the company of friends. De-stressing right in the middle of the work day makes the second half so much more enjoyable. Fully rested, you will be ready to tackle whatever they put in front of you and help your company’s bottom line in the process. Go team.
Organize a betting pool. Whether it is geared toward the Super Bowl, March Madness, baby births or reality television, office betting pools start conversations, sometimes between people who never spoke before. They are easy to run and easy for everyone to get involved – even the higher ups. When executives get involved, an office betting pool can even serve as a networking opportunity. Take advantage of the opportunity.
Work is the most important part of the day. In some jobs, you see your co-workers more than you see your own family and of course, the compensation is what pays for your personal life. With so much of your life depending on what goes on in the office, it shouldn’t be boring. The more you enjoy your job, the less stressful work is and the better employee you will be.
--Jon Minners, Vault.com
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