amazed woman with fake mustacheAs No Shave November comes to a close, I mustache you a question. How fun is your workplace? Last year, the average workweek for Americans was 46 hours. That is a whole lot of time in the office; it should be a place that workers want to be (or at least like being).

Another question –Did you know that happiness in the workplace is taking a nosedive, year after year? In 2008, employee happiness in the workplace was around 51 percent, and as of 2011, it was nearing 46 percent. Happiness, fun, engagement and satisfaction in the workplace are a few very important things that don’t just happen on their own.

As the holidays are quickly approaching, I thought that some statistics from Great American Days might help companies make better decisions about their no fun policies. A quarter of all companies polled won’t be giving gifts or putting on any form of celebration for their employees for the holidays. We see a strong disconnect here when we learn that 82 percent of employees state that receiving a gift from their employer would show them that they are appreciated and valued.

  • 71 percent of employees aren’t engaged at work
  • 1 in 5 employees are looking for a new job
  • A mere 19 percent of employees are satisfied with their job

We all know that an engaged workforce is a productive workforce. Engagement at work drives success and increases retention rates. Despite what most employees might think, the issue isn’t that management doesn’t want anyone to have fun at work.

Management may believe that they don’t have the resources to make the workplace more fun, or they may not have even considered facilitating initiatives toward a more enjoyable environment at work. They probably don’t know a few things that Badgeville tells us in this trusty infographic. Here are some takeaways:

  • Highly engaged employees are 26 percent more productive
  • The companies that have highly engaged employees earn 13 percent greater total returns for shareholders over a five-year period
  • 90 percent of employees say that a fun work environment is very or extremely motivating
  • 70 percent of workers are motivated by non-monetary rewards.
  • 81 percent of employees in Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For called their work environment fun.

Facilitating fun in the workplace is a sound investment that will always come back to the organization. Simple and cheap initiatives are a good place to start. The point of this post isn’t to talk about all the fun and quirky ways to make work more fun. I won’t tell you to implement a Hawaiian shirt Thursdays; there are enough of those posts.

The point here is to note that your work environment and policies are more important than you probably think. Focusing on making work more enjoyable is an overlooked way to increase productivity and engagement. Instead of demanding more time, work and effort, concentrate on making work and the work environment better. The road to increased productivity doesn’t have to be paved with meetings, memos and performance documentation (although you still need those things). It could be as simple as having more fun.

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