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5 Ideas for a More Creative and Fun Work Environment

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coffee with coworkers

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Loving your coworkers is such a hugely underrated part of loving your actual work. It’s the company you keep that can make the crappy parts of your job so much better (and everyone has crappy parts). Feeling supported can make you more productive, and having fun in the middle of your work day can make you happier throughout those less pleasant daily tasks.

Luckily, I really love my job. Partly because I get to strategize with brilliant people and play on Facebook all day, but also because I have brain crushes on every. single. one. of my coworkers. The people I work with are smart, funny, supportive and just a pleasure to be around.

But I know most people aren’t in love with every single one of their coworkers. That doesn’t mean, however, that your team can’t implement a few tactics to make work more fun and creative. Here are five ideas you can try out at work to develop a stronger office culture:

1. Yammer

Yammer is a social network for the office, where you can update people on what you’re working on, ask a question to the team or – my personal favorite – share fun or interesting links relevant to your profession (everyone loves a good industry inside joke).

We use this as a place to crack a lot of jokes at each others’ expense, but it’s also a super quick way to find out general office questions without clogging up everyone’s inbox.

2. Weekly lunches

I’m lucky in that my bosses buy us all lunch on Fridays (whoohoo!), but even if you haven’t landed the boss trifecta yet, going out socially with your coworkers can do wonders for your office relationships.

Who knew you loved the same books or lived in the same foreign city? And don’t be shy! I promise they’ll be flattered you asked.

3. Team talks

Everyone in the office can learn from each other – I don’t care if you’re the receptionist or part of the legal team. Everyone brings a wide variety of skills to the table, and even if you’ll never use SEO or develop a website in your life, it’s important to understand what the people around you actually do.

Weekly talks given by each member of your team is a great way to show off your skills, teach a cool lesson and be valued for the work you provide.

4. Brainstorming sessions

Know what makes people love their coworkers? Feeling like they’re valued.

My employer makes each and every one of us feel like our ideas are worth something by holding what we call “10 to 10 sessions” – 10 minutes of brainstorming at 10am. Everyone who’s not swamped is required to attend and spitball for 10 minutes on a new brief, client or project.

5. Varied furniture

The atmosphere at a restaurant affects how we value the price and quality of the food. So why do all corporate environments look and feel the same?

While we have our weekly meetings at a boardroom table, we also have a few couches and a bar where coworkers can sit and have a catch-up. This adds a casual element to briefs and brainstorms so you don’t constantly feel like you’re in a stuffy environment and more at ease with your coworkers.

Not the boss yet? Next time you have a one-on-one meeting with a coworkers, suggest you grab a coffee outside of the office. Everyone loves coffee.

What do you do to add a most casual element to your work space? Is this something your current office does well or has it all gone horribly, horribly wrong?

Marian Schembari is a blogger, traveler and all-around social media thug. She’s based in Auckland, New Zealand, hails from Connecticut and blogs at marianlibrarian.com.

Image courtesy of Bigstock

Brazen powers real-time, online events for leading organizations around the world. Our lifestyle and career blog, Brazen Life, offers fun and edgy ideas for ambitious professionals navigating the changing world of work.

  • http://twitter.com/RemovingMalware Removing Malware

    Bravo, some very good tips! Another good one is after work drinks, a great way to unwind and also to get to know people a bit better outside of work. Good for building new relationships with your coworkers.

    Neil @ Removing Malware

  • Sarah

    Great points! At first, I had really mixed feelings about my job, so I hesitated to befriend people because I felt like, what’s the point? Plus, my office environment was as quiet as a library, so putting myself out there was going against the grain. But when I made more of an effort to befriend my co-workers by inviting them to happy hour or to get coffee, I became much happier. I realized I had misjudged these people. It’s worth the effort to reach out!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1571299580 August Mohr

    I suspect the most truly casual office environment I have ever been in was when the Engineering Department of a growing startup took over the building that had been a former health center, and it came with a hot tub and sauna. The company, bless them, decided to keep the tub and sauna operational. The engineers, working all night on a deadline, started relaxing in the tub while waiting for a huge program to take an hour to compile and it became a place to really let your hair down and get to know your co-workers.

  • http://leemar.wordpress.com/ Anna Marie Smith

    My office would be so much more fun and productive if we could use Yammer!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jnockels Jason Nockels

    With the exception of Yammer I am pretty happy to have an environment that has those things and you’re right it makes a much better work environment.

  • http://twitter.com/UCMuseum Union City Museum

    This is great for folks who work in an office environment. Would love to hear some thoughts about those of us who work from home full time, especially for an organization where 60% of staff are in an office and 40% are wfh. Ideas??

    • http://www.linkedin.com/in/briannaswartz Brianna Swartz

      Oops, meant to post from my personal account!

      • http://www.jaclynschiff.com Jaclyn Schiff

        That’s a good idea for a post, Brianna! We’ll have to do something on it.

  • http://www.sackaynakpro.com/ saç kaynak

    you were touched really gold points. i’s so importand to love your job. if you not love your job, you cant be satisfield…

  • http://www.goedkoop-iphone.nl/ Goedkoopste iPhone

    great post, was really interesting to read.

  • Candace

    Great article with great points… it almost seems common sense! The funny thing about working in an office is we all forget that every single one of us is human… and to be human is to interact, have fun and socialize – you can still work of course, but we forget that. Why is that I wonder?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004904490227 Mirza Nowrin

    :P

  • Isabel

    I would recommend Podio over Yammer