Do you suspect that your employees might be bored at work? You’re probably right. Research by Gallup shows that over half (55%) of Americans are unengaged at work. Workplace boredom has a major impact on your bottom line. Workers who have mentally checked out at work are less productive and motivated than those who enjoy their jobs.
What can managers do to eliminate boredom in the office? Here are some ideas to try:
1. Let everyone decorate their own workspace
Employees permitted to customize their desks are more likely to feel a sense of ownership over their environment and work. Let them put up a few inspiring photos and keep a couple of mementos on their desk. Why not let them use a favorite cushion on their chair or bring in a pot plant?
2. Start a small office challenge that is totally unrelated to work
Encourage everyone to work together and have fun at the same time with games that invite collaboration. For example, you could place a jumbo crossword on the wall and invite everyone to contribute their answers.
3. Invest in a few fun gadgets and games
Deep down, most adults still retain a childlike appreciation for new toys. Easy desktop games like Connect Four are classic favorites, whereas innovations like coffee machines controlled by apps will intrigue employees.
Note that not all gadgets have to be frivolous. For example, massage office chairs can prevent and relieve back pain and headaches. Standing desks that incorporate treadmills are also good choices if wellness is a priority.
4. Celebrate obscure days
Do you know that National Hat Day, National Cheese Day, and World Kindness Day are all annual holidays? Check out Holidays Calendar for this year’s schedule.
Your celebrations are limited only by your creativity. For instance, wearing wacky hats for the day would brighten up the office. You could also ask employees to bring in food and games relevant to the occasion if appropriate. Remember, you shouldn’t force anyone to join in. The point is to have fun, not to coerce anyone into something they don’t want to do.
5. Let your employees learn as they work
If time permits, encourage your employees to deepen their knowledge whenever possible. For example, suppose an employee is writing a flyer for an upcoming event. If you let them take half an hour to research basic design principles they will learn something new.
6. Bring in teachers and consultants who can organize fun activities
Improve your employees’ health and add some fun to the working day by inviting someone in to lead a class. For instance, holding yoga classes every Monday lunchtime will shake up your workers’ regular routine and also provide bonding opportunities.
7. Let employees take their work elsewhere
A change of scenery can encourage people to adopt a new approach to a project or problem. Holding a meeting in a new space can jolt workers out of their normal routine.
8. Give everyone the chance to pitch their wildest ideas
Set aside half an hour every week in which anyone can put forward their thoughts on current or future projects. This allows cross-department collaboration, and also encourages creative working relationships.
Stay open-minded, and don’t rule out someone’s ideas on the basis of their background or normal job duties. For instance, just because someone works in accounting doesn’t mean they can’t propose exciting changes to the company website. For this to work, you need to have built a culture of trust. No one likes to feel as though others will laugh at them.
It doesn’t take much effort to stop boredom in its tracks. With a bit of creativity and preparation, you can engage your team and make the office a happier place.