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20+ Fun Ways to Improve Work Culture that Won’t Break the Bank




1. Celebrate Special Days

Pick a few lesser-known holidays throughout the year that you think your office would appreciate celebrating, or put it to a vote to see what the office wants to celebrate. Opposite Day? Do A Grouch A Favor Day? World Compliment Day? Puppy Day? Scrabble Day? Lost Sock Memorial Day? National Doughnut Day? Tell the Truth Day? Ask A Stupid Question Day? Comic Book Day? Clean Out Your Virtual Desktop Day? Run It Up the Flagpole and See if Anyone Salutes It Day? If you need more ideas, then check out the full list of fun holidays on TimeandDate.com. Celebrating a wacky or wild holiday once a month can create a more enjoyable workplace without the need for a budget.


2. "Guess Who" Board

Designate a category for each month (Pet, Childhood Toy, Sports team, favorite food, vintage photo of grandparent, favorite place they have visited, etc.), and have everyone in the office send their picture to the admin to print them out and hang them on the board. Then throughout the course of the month people try to figure out who’s is who’s. At the end of the month, reveal who’s is who’s. Also, this doesn’t have to just be pictures, people could write an embarrassing story, favorite joke, happiest memory, interesting fact, etc. This helps everyone learn more about their workmates, without taking much time or energy, and it can also produce friendly dialogue as people try to figure out who's who's.


3. Shoot Your Shot

Wondering what to do with all the messed up prints sitting in the recycling bin next to the printer? Set up two recycling bins next to the exit, one labeled “Good Day” and one labeled “Bad Day,” and when it’s time for workers to go home, they can wad up one of those papers and shoot it into the appropriate bin. Not only does it give a chance for workers to reflect on their day and let it be known how they felt, but it also allows managers and bosses to get a general understanding of how much people are (or aren’t) enjoying work.


4. Office BookShelf

Having a mini-library with some of the best industry-related books encourages your staff to stay on top of their game by staying in the know. It also makes it easier for them to do so by having the books there in the workplace where they can easily check them out. Adding other non-work related books as well can be a morale booster for those bookworms who are always looking for another title to add to their “to read” list.


5. This or That Jars

Each month put a picture and name on two jars and have officemates drop any loose change into the jar of the one they like better. See which jar has more money in it at the end of the month. Who would you choose in Red Sox vs. Yankees, M&M’s vs. Skittles, Gandalf vs. Dumbledor, Swift vs. Perry? The only other question left to figure out is what to do with all that change!


6. Quote Board

Allow employees to sign up to put up a quote of the day (or week) on the office quote board. It’s a subtle way to let them express themselves to their employees and share words that have been helpful to them. It could be inspirational, funny, thought provoking, poetic, or whatever they want (so long as it’s work appropriate).


7. Kindness Chain

Have everyone’s name written on slips of paper and then put into a jar. The boss goes first and picks a name. They should try to do something nice for that person sometime during the day - it can just be something small like buying the person a coffee, helping them with an office chore, or writing them an encouraging letter. It then becomes the receiver’s turn to pick a name and do something special for someone else.


8. Dress Down or Dress Up Days

Some people look forward to casual days, while others love the opportunity to dress up. If your office enjoys the chance to dress in something nicer, then make a day for it. If they typically already do, and want something a bit more informal, then make a casual day. Switching up the dress code every once in a while helps keep things from being too monotonous.


9. Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

Don’t lose out on good thoughts and ideas because the outspoken people are dominating the meeting. In order to be sure that softer-spoken people’s opinions aren’t lost due to louder types, get a talking stick. Whoever has it, has the floor. Obviously, there should be some rules to govern it so that the long-winded person doesn’t abuse its power, but something as simple as a stick could help bring some order to the meetings and make sure everyone gets heard. This idea comes from Google so you know it’s got some validation. Also, to add a bit of fun, get a stick or object that feels like it wields some power like a wand or lightsaber handle, or something related to your industry like a portafilter for a coffee producer or a microphone for an A/V company.


10. Community Service

Find a local charity or non-profit organization who your company can occasionally partner with to do some good work. Connecting with a cause is a great way to have your employees do good, which also helps them feel good.


11. Input Switch

Give different teams or departments an opportunity to give input or feedback to projects outside of their domain. It can help people get a new perspective on a task or project by getting a fresh set of eyes on it, and who have a different background. Obviously, this doesn’t work in every case, but it can prove to be useful depending on the situation. This is also another gem learned from the team at Google.


12. Group Dynamic Activities

Group dynamic activities are like icebreakers, except usually they have a greater focus on people getting to learn each other better. Starting out a meeting with a short GDA can help people better understand how their teammates think and can grow a better appreciation for each other. Whether it is personality tests, listing each other’s perceived strengths and weaknesses, discussing people’s first impressions of each other, answering stress questionnaires, or even playing games like true colors, interpersonal group dynamic activities help people to not only learn their officemates better, but they also can grow in their own self-awareness.


13. Thankfulness List Scattergories

Remembering what we have to be thankful for helps people to be content and improve their mood. Each month a letter of the alphabet is chosen, and each employee writes down three things per day that they are grateful for which start with that month’s letter (they must be things the person actually likes, so if the letter is “T” don’t list down “table tennis” if you hate table tennis, list things like “tea” or “taxidermy” or “Teresa from accounting”). At the end of the month, have people compare their lists, and cross out any item on the list that someone else also has. The one with the most points is the winner (to up the stakes, all participants could chip in a dollar and the winner takes all).


14. Mini-Seminars & Workshops

Seminars and workshops don’t have to be long, drawn out ordeals. Holding a short learning session about topics you know your employees will benefit from can help everyone get caught up to speed on things they need to know, while at the same time providing a break from a monotonous work schedule. The best thing is, you can do it in a way where you barely have to do any planning. There are countless free youtube videos of seminars, TED talks, book summaries, and other informative videos which can help people learn new life hacks or work tips that will make them more productive.


15. Magical Mondays

Focus on making Mondays a great day. Getting employees to be excited about the first day of the week is no doubt a challenge, but if you can give them something to look forward to on Monday, it can help get them start the week off on the right foot. Even if it's just free donuts or a raffle for a large coffee. Anything that gets people even a little happy to be there that day can be a game changer when it comes to trying to overcome the all-too-common Monday blues.


16. Reminders of Purpose

One way to ensure people feel compelled to do well is to give frequent reminders of their significance and purpose. Making sure people feel important in what they do is essential to keeping them working hard. When people forget their role or feel unimportant, their motivation to do well dives and often so does their performance. Verbal and written reminders of the importance of everyone’s jobs can make a difference in how people feel about their work culture.


17. Sports

Depending on the number of your officemates, you could consider starting a sports team and joining a league. Sure, not everyone will want to participate, but for those who do, it could really boost comradery.


18. Off-Work Gatherings

Similar to sports, non-mandatory, off-work hang-outs are one way to help add some thrill to your brand’s culture. While it’s not your job to ensure everyone has a healthy social life, those who do are typically happier than those who don’t, so by providing opportunities for office mates to get together outside the office, you can help them


19. Meme Wall

In the break room or another non-distracting location, start a meme-wall where workers can print off and post their favorite industry-related memes. If there are not many memes about your business, then have a meme-making contest to see who can come up with the best memes each month. Get those winning memes framed and put on the wall.


20. Vision Board

A constant visual reminder of the goals you are aiming for can help people to prioritize the right tasks and stay focused on the target. Your company’s vision for the future should be depicted in a way where employees are not only reminded of your mission but also their part in it.


21. Harmless Pranks

This one just depends on your staff and workplace. Pranks can go terribly wrong and are often not worth the risk, so it's up to the discretion of the leadership. Just remember that pranks should never cause damage to property and should never embarrass or upset someone.


22. Potluck

Getting people to eat together is a great way to help them bond, and it can happen to a greater extent when people have the opportunity to share their food.


We hope you enjoyed those ways to liven up your office without having to worry about breaking the bank. Finding ways to keep your employees happy is a great way to increase a healthy work culture that will make customers fall in love with your brand.



SOURCES:


Platts, Chris. “43 Company Culture Improvement Ideas (That Actually Work).” ThriveMap. 21 July 2021.

https://thrivemap.io/company-culture-improvement-ideas/


“26 Ways To Make Work Fun.” Indeed. July 22, 2022

https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/work-fun


Bell, Ashley. “29 Creative Office Bulletin Board Ideas For Your Workspace In 2023.”

https://snacknation.com/blog/office-bulletin-board-ideas/


“Fun Holidays - Funny, Random & Weird Holidays.” Time and Date.

https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/fun/


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