HRA Blog

Getting Over the Dog Days of Summer

Written by Mary Lake on .

The dog days of summer are upon us. The temperature is rising and employees are either on vacation or daydreaming about the ones around the corner. While taking a break from work can be crucial for employee productivity, at times, these lulls in energy can impact the office. It happens every year, so what can an organization do to overcome this? The answer – inject a bit of fun in the office space!

According to author Gary Keller, “studies over the last two decades” have revealed when workplaces make fun a factor, it creates happier employees that feel more satisfied and ultimately better at their jobs. Fun in the workplace fun has been linked to:

  • Enhanced motivation
  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced stress
  • Higher job satisfaction
  • Improved task performance

In addition, having fun is one way of effectively managing and improving employees’ emotions. It’s also proven to improve teamwork, build trusting relationships and increase employee retention.

However, before you get started on injecting fun into the workplace, it is important to consider some do’s and don’ts:

Fun in the workplace should be:

  • Appropriate for the workplace
  • Inclusive – the fun should be shared with as many people as possible
  • Sensitive to how people might react

Workplace fun and humor should not:

  • Be racist, sexist or vulgar
  • Offend anyone
  • Make fun of anyone
  • Be sarcastic
  • Detract from core business
  • Damage the reputation of individuals
  • Damage the reputation of the organization

Whether you have a backyard BBQ, water balloon fights, photography contests, popsicle breaks or even a good ole fashioned watermelon seed spitting competition, the sky is the limit when thinking of fun and unusual things to do in the office.

Keep in mind though that what is fun for one person is not necessarily fun for another. Recognize and value the fact that there will be a diversity of fun styles and be sure to ask for input from all levels of your workforce. What you do isn’t as important as doing something to lift the spirits of the employees during those lazy, hazy days of summer.