Why it pays to have fun at work

Having fun at work has a positive impact on the success of a business, according to a survey of 2,000 employees across the UK. From massage days to office pets, the survey found many ways that modern, progressive companies can help their staff be more productive, happier and more satisfied at work.

The It Pays to Play report, put together by Bright HR, highlights the importance for businesses to make their employees feel valued and important. “It’s really about engaging with the employees,” said Simon Dalley, brand marketing manager at Bright HR. “The work-life patterns are blurring. We all have smartphones. We all receive emails out of work time and talk to our colleagues through various different methods of communication.

“The UK workforce is evolving – millennials are becoming a much bigger part of the workforce. By 2020 something like 75 per cent of the workforce will be made up of millennials who have grown up with the internet in the technological era and that’s changed their perception and also changed their world of work. Employers are recognising that millennials are much more likely to job hop and move if they are not happy.”

Dalley, speaking ahead of the SME Awards 2016 being staged at The Grosvenor House on London’s Park Lane on June 23, added: “Workplaces need to adapt to compensate for that. The way people want to work is changing and I am not sure all business owners are ready for that.

“In a survey of our 2,000 SME owners it is clear that the smaller operations really know their own people. They know all their team by name; they are prepared to be friends with them on social media; they probably go for drinks with them after work. It’s only when a company gets to a certain size that things change.

“It doesn’t cost that much money to create an engaging atmosphere in an office. There are things that can be done. It’s not the cost of creating space that is important, it is the leadership required to create the culture in the first place. It has to come from the top. It has to be instilled into the company and it has to be genuine. You must trust, understand and empower your team.”

In It Pays to Play’s first report, Professor Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at the University of Manchester, wrote: “When we spend so much of our time at work, it’s important to ensure that it’s an environment conducive to a healthy and happy lifestyle. Fun in the workplace doesn’t have to cost a lot, but its value could be priceless.”

To find out more about SME Awards 2016 go to http://awards.smeweb.com/