Updated: August 31, 2022

How to Have Fun at Work with Employees: 23 Ideas

This is a guide to helping employees have fun at work.

Employees may have a good time at work while still getting the job done. As the manager, you can learn how to have fun at work while staying productive. The more you know about fun work activities such as games, talent shows, and group volunteering, the more equipped you will be to adopt these practices in your workplace. Making work fun involves devising a plan that encourages positive thinking and a healthy dose of humor. Having fun at work promotes bonding and camaraderie among coworkers, increases employee retention, and boosts engagement.

Fun working environments can increase company job satisfaction statistics and employee retention. Making work more enjoyable is an effective employee engagement strategy.

This post touches on topics such as:

  • how to have fun at work while staying productive
  • how to make work fun as a manager
  • how to inject fun into the workplace
  • how to have fun at work virtually
  • having fun at work is important

Here come the tips!

Ideas for making the workplace fun

The following are exciting ideas on how to inject fun into the workplace for your employees:

1. Form an office sports team

Office sports revolve around organizing friendly competitions and encouraging staff members to join teams. There are many ways to structure teams, such as by department, rank, or managers vs. employees. Sports options include baseball, volleyball, soccer, basketball, bowling, and football.

2. Create a relaxation or gaming area

Workers may take a break from assignments and blow off steam through friendly competition with a gaming room in the workplace. For example, you can install foosball, pool, and Ping-Pong tables depending on your available space and budget. You can use an empty office or supply closet. You can get cards and board games to keep your workers entertained during their lunch breaks. You could consider hosting competitions where the winning teams get awards.

You can also set aside a section for jokes and create a “humor zone” in a break room. In this area, staff can submit cartoons, funny phrases and photos, and other comical content to help coworkers relax.

Suppose you are working with a virtual or hybrid team. Instead of having a physical games area, play online games to have fun and make friends. Video charades, Donut for Slack, Overcooked 2, Tabletopia, and Among Us are a few suggestions.

Here are lists of board games playable online, the best board games for teams, and office break room ideas.

3. Create a vision board

Having a vision board can remind employees of the organization’s goals and make the workplace more visually appealing. Your teams can contribute to building a unique board with their style and imagination. The board can also incorporate the company’s branding, such as color schemes and logos.

Asking staff members to include their career aspirations may lead to talks about how the business may better support its workers’ professional development. After completion, you may hang your vision board in a public area, such as the conference room or foyer.

Check out more office bulletin board ideas.

4. Allow workplace decoration

One sure way to make the workplace fun is to allow employees to add some personal taste to their workspace. Workers can bring items to decorate the office, including photos of their loved ones. There are also several ways to spruce up your workspace, such as changing the wallpaper to a brighter hue or rearranging the furniture to make it look more welcoming.

One workplace makeover method is a paint-a-thon, a  competition that allows team members to make art on the office walls. Team members can agree on a decoration theme and have a leader oversee the project.

5. Host fancy clothing days

The phrase “dress for success” refers to how your clothing impacts your mood. However, you may not know that this phenomenon is called “clothing cognition.”

Wearing something that makes you feel joyful, peaceful, strong, or competent may influence your behavior, thoughts, and words. For example, yellow can bring happiness, optimism, and warmth to a room. Giving out employee souvenirs such as free shirts can help foster a healthy work environment.

Themed days allow workers to dress and act consistently with the day’s theme. Employees can dress up and bring props, or they may imitate characters. Examples of themes to use include bosses, superheroes, and celebrities.

6. Allow humor and insider jokes

Sharing a laugh with coworkers may also make the workplace fun. If you come across a joke that makes you laugh, share it with your colleagues through email or group chat. Jokes that are in line with the goals of your business are acceptable.

You can also find humor in work challenges. Making light of unfavorable workplace issues through comedy can build resilience. You can alleviate tension and stress by sharing stories of strange but amusing client experiences, playfully teasing coworkers after mistakes, or laughing in the face of deadlines. By using humor, employees can work with more enthusiasm and clarity in less stressful situations. This tip will also work for managers looking for how to have fun at work virtually or onsite.

Here is a list of funny icebreaker jokes.

7. Start a book club at the workplace

Some employees’ idea of fun involves intellectual stimulation and riveting conversation. For the literature lovers on your team, form a book club. Team members read the same book simultaneously and discuss their opinions for this activity. You may suggest books to read and what new genres to try out. You can schedule meetings with other club members to discuss the story or characters.

Here is a directory of book suggestions you can use for inspiration.

8. Form an employee band

A workplace band allows workers to express their musical preferences and talents. If you and your colleagues like playing the drums and guitar, then you may form a band. You can have rehearsal times to play at company events like board meetings and Christmas parties. If employees do not have the time and bandwidth to dedicate to joining a group and rehearsing, then you could hold occasional jam sessions for musically talented team members instead.

9. Have hangouts after business hours

As a manager and team member, you may form genuine connections with your coworkers if you spend time outside the job. After-hours outings can be drinking together at the local bar, having a game night, dining together, going to the movies, or attending a music concert.

Here is a list of company offsite ideas.

10. Create an achievement board

An office “wall of fame” is a way for managers to publicly recognize and reward their staff. The manager can put up an image of the employee and their accomplishment so their coworkers to congratulate them for their efforts. It is advisable to develop a timetable for adding information to the wall. You can have distinctive and appealing designs to complement workers and consistently keep them productive and motivated.

11. Organize a talent show

A talent show is a great way for workers to show off their skills and compete for a reward. You can hold the talent show annually, with prizes such as gift cards or extra vacation days. A talent show provides a healthy break from work. Team members can cheer on their favorite contestants while having a good laugh.

Here is a list of ideas for talents shows, and a guide to doing online talent shows.

12. Promote hobbies

You can make the workplace more fun by allowing employees to enjoy their favorite pastimes. This option alleviates stress, refreshes the spirit, and allows team members to bond around shared interests. Hobbies like adult coloring books, model-building, scrapbooking, reading, and even knitting might help alleviate tension throughout the workday. According to research conducted on 115 individuals, 34% felt less anxious, 18% felt less melancholy, and their heart rate decreased by 3%.

13. Hold karaoke contests

This activity can be both amusing and enjoyable for workers. Employees can sing along to song lyrics in common areas. You can make it even more exciting by having participants dress like the musicians who sang the songs they are performing.

14. Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays at work

Employees are usually more excited if they can celebrate holidays on the job. You can observe holidays or special occasions by redecorating the office, exchanging presents, and throwing parties.

As a manager, you can appreciate your employees’ work by celebrating their work anniversaries. You can design the event around the employee’s music and food tastes and promote the celebration ahead of time. For example, for an employee’s work anniversary, you could record and edit a video of coworkers recanting their best recollections of the employee and why they appreciate working with them.

You can also commemorate employees’ birthdays with parties. Make sure you and your coworkers know about future birthdays by setting up a calendar. You can mark these occasions with cake, cards, and breaks to enjoy time together as a team.

Here are lists of office birthday ideas and virtual team celebration ideas.

15. Encourage breaks

Encouraging employees to take regular breaks throughout the day energizes and motivates workers. Often, this tip might demand stepping outside the work area for a short period of at least ten minutes. Designating areas for employees to meditate, perform yoga, sleep, or read can help in-house staff de-stress.

It would help if you encouraged your employees to take a few minutes out of the day to do fun activities to reduce their stress levels. Taking a little break from one’s daily routine may profoundly affect one’s mental health. Do your best to take timeouts, and urge others to do the same. For example, work on a crossword puzzle, listen to music, stroll around the block, or peruse a local bookshop. Be sure to take time to step away and enjoy an activity that helps you disconnect from the immediate task.

16. Create a gallery wall using photographs

You may add visual appeal to your workplace by setting up picture walls. You might choose a wall in the break room or another office common area where workers congregate. Employees can hang up wedding images, trip photos, or portraits of beloved pets. You can even make an area for baby images where your team members try to figure out who is who.

For more fun with photos, check out this list of picture scavenger hunt templates.

17. Engage in harmless pranks

You can have a wonderful time with your colleagues by playing harmless pranks at work. For instance, if you want to scare your coworkers, then perhaps replace the props or frames on their work desks or place rubber snakes and mice in unsuspecting areas in the office.

Check out more work-safe pranks in this list of virtual April Fool’s Day ideas.

18. Engage in community service

Workplace volunteering may foster camaraderie and goodwill while also benefiting the community. For example, you and your team may set out to clean up a neighborhood park or share canned food on a weekday. By allowing your employees to do community service, you can break work monotony and give team members a deeper sense of purpose. Helping others can be a powerful mood booster and the shared mission can accelerate team bonding.

Here is a list of charity team building ideas.

19. Promote group meditation

When you and your coworkers practice group meditation together, you can release the stress of the workplace. The practice promotes mental and physical well-being. Activities such as breathing and yoga exercises can relieve tension and improve relaxation and tranquility.

Check out more employee wellness ideas.

20. Set up witty customs and traditions

You can bring a little lightheartedness to the workplace by introducing amusing customs. For example, you might require team members to dance every time they grab a snack. Or, coworkers can race each other in their office chairs when going for departmental meetings. These routines are fun because they remove interaction barriers and give employees a shared identity.

21. Hold potlucks

Workers bring their food to share with one other during a potluck. Consider hosting a potluck to celebrate when your company achieves its quarterly sales targets ahead of schedule. Potlucks are a great way to know your coworkers’ culinary skills and general backgrounds. For instance, you may learn that your coworker is a talented cookie baker or inherited a slew of Filipino recipes from their family.

22. Initiate work retreats

When you go on vacation with your employees, you can develop a stronger bond and have more fun together. For example, managers can plan yearly retreats in remote locations where they can have team meetings without technology. You may also take your staff on trips to places that they like. For example, in the weeks coming up to the retreat, your team may vote on the locations, such as a beach or a ski resort.

Here is a guide to company retreats.

23. Host a welcome party for new staff

You can throw a welcome party to welcome new employees and introduce them to the rest of your staff in a pleasant and casual atmosphere. Then, as an icebreaker, you can ask your team members to share a fun fact. You can also have meetings with food and music for your staff to socialize during work hours.

The benefits of having a fun workplace

Learning how to make work fun as a manager can positively impact teams and the entire organization. The following are some of the reasons to make the workplace fun:

1. Healthier employees

Employee absenteeism is an issue that costs employers a lot of money annually. Satisfied employees often experience less work stress and anxiety, which means less risk of ill-health. Your employees’ well-being will positively impact absenteeism and presenteeism, saving you money in the long run. Employees who are healthier because they have fun at work will take less time off because of illness. Your HR system should be able to tell you how much fun activities and health and wellness programs have had on absenteeism rates.

According to the Harvard School of Public Health, much scientific research has shown the detrimental effects of negative emotions on health. For example, severe and long-term stress or anxiety may affect biological systems and ultimately lead to “wear and tear” and diseases like heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.

2. Better communication and teamwork

Up to 65 percent of knowledge workers communicate with their coworkers many times a day. Therefore, promoting an effective strategy to build collaboration and synergy within your organization is critical.

Spending time with coworkers in a casual and enjoyable setting fosters open communication and mutual respect within the group. Employees who are friends with their colleagues are more likely to get along and communicate well as a team.

Employees may learn about each other’s likes, dislikes, and unstated customs and norms through having fun with each other. This setting helps to understand each other better and appreciate other workers’ talents and weaknesses.

Check out this list of communication games.

3. More creativity

Fun is essential for creativity. Whether you are a toddler or an adult, you are more likely to learn while having fun. Folks learn better when they appreciate what they are doing and are in a good frame of mind. A fun workplace also inspires imagination and problem-solving skills.

There is distinct energy and vibe in creative spaces. These environments are full of conversation and have many engaged employees. By incorporating entertaining activities into the everyday routines of workers, you can foster a creative culture. Formal contests and projects can boost innovations in the workplace.

Here is a list of inspiring creativity quotes.

4. Better brand reputation

An organization may benefit greatly from having fun at work. Sharing stories about the positive environment in your company can form the basis of an engaging employer branding narrative. You can promote familiarity and confidence in your organization by opening a window into the workings of your company. Potential customers and passive employees are more inclined to interact with your firm if they feel like they know it and can see its “less serious” entertaining side.

5. More productivity

A study from the University of Warwick indicated that happy workers were 12 to 20 percent more productive on average in certain circumstances. Workers may speak less and be less productive while feeling depressed or sad at work. Employees can better deal with and recover from difficult situations when surrounded by enjoyment, support, and friendship.

6. Greater advocacy

Advocates have a significant impact on how the general public views a company. Employees that have fun and are enthusiastic about their work are more likely to spread the word about your company’s products and services both online and offline. If your workers spread the word to their social networks, then you can increase the number of people who know about your business at no extra cost.

For tips, check out this list of books on employee experience.


Having fun at work is vital for your employees’ health and productivity. Workdays do not have to be gloom and doom, even though most individuals prefer spending time with their loved ones than at the office. Thinking of creative ways to motivate your employees can improve the office atmosphere and increase job satisfaction. Not to mention, having fun at work makes for a more pleasant working environment. It is helpful to encourage your team members to take breaks, play games and have fun.

Feel free to also check out this guide to making virtual meetings fun and this explanation of the benefits of team building at work.

Next, check out this guide to creating a positive work environment.

FAQ: Fun at work

The following are some frequently asked questions about how to have fun at work

What are good ideas to make work fun for employees?

You can make work fun for employees by introducing work retreats, creating a relaxation area, and allowing workplace decoration.

How do you make work fun for teams?

You can make work fun for teams by organizing a talent show, engaging in community service, and promoting group meditation.

Why is making the workplace fun important?

Making the workplace fun is important because it promotes creativity, improves communication, and boosts employee productivity.

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People & Culture Director at teambuilding.com.
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at TeamBuilding. She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.

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