Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Gary Miller from GarageGymPlanner.com – His opinions are his own.
Gone are the days when workplaces are only about drab 9 to 5 routines. Today, employees cherish and value a work environment that gives them more than desks with files on them. Luckily, even employers have begun to understand the value of providing a wholesome and holistic environment at work.
And what is the main agenda of doing this? To increase productivity in employees while giving them individual benefits as well.
A healthy body is a perfect place for a healthy mind to grow. Sitting in the same spot all day might give a lot of exercise to the brain, but the body’s growth slowly begins to stagnate. In a thriving and active workplace, one can easily see that employees are much more involved and interested in teamwork and keeping productivity on a high.
Although, the real question here is: How can a regular workplace be turned into a thriving one?
Through workplace activities!
Here’s a list of activities and other ideas that could make your workplace come alive:
- One piece of equipment that can work for both workplace and home fitness is a treadmill. Several workplaces have treadmills that employees use to keep themselves fit.
- A reading station, like a small office library, where people can take short breaks and engage in recreational reading.
- A monthly or periodically planned outdoor activity session like paintball or playing a friendly game of football or basketball.
- Going on short weekend trips with the whole team.
- Taking turns to put up motivational quotes and posters around the office.
- Have an occasional jamming or music session!
- Have an in-house counseling facility where employees can seek any help regarding mental stress or any other problem that might be hindering their performance.
- Setting up random project teams so that everyone gets a chance to work with everyone.
- Organize activities like a marathon or charity fundraiser.
- Keep a suggestion box where employees can pitch in ideas for new group activities at work.
Why is having an active and thriving workplace so important? What are some of the benefits?
1. Building motivation
What is the one thing that keeps anyone going even in the toughest situations? Motivation.
An employee must first and foremost be motivated to actually go to his/her workplace. They need a reason to look forward to, a feel-good factor that gets them up and going every day. When a certain environment becomes boring or monotonous, it’s basic human tendency to start losing interest and not want to go that extra mile. Most people need more than just the guarantee of a pay-check to get them going to work regularly with a positive attitude.
2. Building teamwork
Teamwork is the one main ingredient that gets any company going from being just productive to super productive. When does a workplace reach its peak? When all its employees are working together and moving towards a common goal. When an employee’s interests merge with the interests of a company, it becomes a common goal, and hence, it also becomes more achievable. Not just that, when all the employees become a team and pool in all their talents and plus points, it becomes more lucrative for everyone involved.
3. Healthy body, healthy mind
It’s a known fact that a body that is active and healthy eventually leads to a mind that is healthy as well. When you compare employees who do nothing but sit in the same spot and endlessly try to meet deadlines vs. employees who have a good amount of physical activity incorporated into their daily routine, you’ll notice an interesting difference: physically active employees are much more involved, productive and invested in working towards deadlines and meeting both personal and professional goals. This is why playing team games or having an exercise center in the office space is so beneficial.
4. The freedom to express
We are all just as human as the person next to us, and all humans have the innate need to express themselves. If an employee is not mentally satisfied or is in a bad place, it would surely reflect in their professional performance as well. Providing employees with counseling facilities is a way of letting them know that you, as an employer, are interested in their well-being and care for their mental health. So, whenever they are feeling low and just need someone to share a problem with, they know that their workplace is a perfectly good option.
5. Giving everyone a chance
In a work environment that gives everyone equal opportunity to speak up and voice their opinions, no one feels like the underdog, and each one of them feels recognized and important. There is no bias or prejudice involved in such an atmosphere, which further motivates them to bring forth their best ideas and also put their best foot forward. This contrasts with a work environment that does not involve each and every employee in some form, making them feel more like machines and less like a vital part of the company. Inclusion, however minute, can make a big difference.
6. Promoting healthy competition
When competition is mutual and healthy, it benefits everyone involved. A work environment must incorporate activities that not only inspire employees to be better and do better, but also do better together. Unhealthy competition can lead to unnecessary disputes and conflicts at the workplace, which ultimately turns the environment sour. However, friendly and healthy competition can help every individual with bettering themselves, without having to put anyone else down, and also with working towards their responsibilities at work. Healthy competition is constructive competition.
A semi-formal work environment is one that knows exactly when to bring in the fun elements into the workplace, without having to compromise on a disciplined and regulated code of conduct. This is why workplace group activities help with building motivation and encourage employees to strive and work harder while maintaining a common goal and objective in mind. When group activities are induced into a work environment the right way, it can translate into a very beneficial scenario for the employees and the employers alike!