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5 Fun and Free Ways to Keep Your Employees Happy

Jade Yourth
Industry Insights
pencil crayons

These strategies will help shake up the nine to five. Best of all, they don't cost a thing.

 

One of the top reasons employees quit is due to boredom. Providing work that is both meaningful and challenging are vital for retaining today's top talent. However, it's not just about the job description. It's also about the environment in which they spend those 40 plus hours a week.

Monotony is a culture killer. So even when your staff love the work they're doing, it doesn't mean you're winning in the culture department. It also doesn't guarantee that they're going to stay-put, despite having their dream job.

 

Companies like Google and Facebook have garnered a lot of publicity over their innovative offices. From nap pods to personal chefs, the work perks are definitely major draws for their hundreds of employees. Unfortunately, not everyone has those types of budgets to work with.

The good news is that every leader can introduce new ways to shake up the workweek that frees up their staff from deadlines, timelines and hours chained at the desk. Here are five ways to beat office boredom (that won't cost a dime). 

1. Casual Monday's

Between family, friends and errands, weekends can feel like just another type of work. Leaving little downtime, the last thing people want to do is put on that suit or pair of heels come Monday morning.

Relaxing the dress code may not be applicable for your office five days a week, but what about adding Monday to the roster? It may seem like nothing big, but rolling into a new week dressed in comfortable, casual attire will set the mood and pace for the entire office. 

2. Coffee Culture

Remember how excited you used to be as a kid when you had a field trip? Well, it's time to unleash that inner child and switch things up.

Sometimes you just need a change of scenery. So try introducing "coffee culture" to recharge the group. Once a week, the entire staff or different departments can explore local cafes to work out of. It can be for the entire afternoon or even an hour. This could be just what your employees need to reset and recharge, plus you'll be supporting local businesses (win-win!).

3. Mandatory Meeting-Free Days

 

We often spend more time meeting about work than actually doing the work, which means your staff could constantly be playing catch up. Sit back and analyze your current meeting cadence; does the marketing department really have to meet every Monday, Wednesday and Friday?

Consider making a mandatory meeting-free day. Typically Friday's may be the easiest given your workflow, but if you can swing a Wednesday or Thursday, it may be even more beneficial. This breaks up the week and gives everyone eight hours to look forward to that's free from the boardroom.

Given client demands, it may be impossible to have a set day. If that's the case, make it flexible. At the beginning of each month, allow each employee to block one day off each week in the calendar. This way other staff will know not to schedule them.

4. Tech-Free Time

Every afternoon around 2pm you'll hear a buzzer go off in my office. This let's people know it's "tech-free time". For 30 minutes, each employee is required to unplug. No phones, computers, iPads or headphones. No exceptions.

My team is encouraged to step outside with coworkers, read, or challenge one another to a game of foosball. This small (and free) initiative has done wonders for our culture. It shows that my company values their personal relationships and sense of self-care.

It has also boosted our productivity. By not working, it's given them the extra kick of energy to refocus once they head back to the desk.

5. Mural Wall

I once walked into a client's office and saw a giant coloring page on the wall. When I asked what it was, they told me that they encourage their staff to color as a way to de-stress from a busy day.

 

I loved this idea so much that I introduced it into all of my offices. It can even be as simple as a plain white piece of paper or a chalkboard. Set beside it a box of felts, pastels, pencil crayons or chalk and let staff unleash their creativity.