Sometimes the budget does not stretch very far when working in a small business, or in a small office away from a larger business. You cannot afford to install pinball machines, ping pong tables, and chill-out rooms with bean bags. You wouldn’t have the space anyway. Here are five fun and cheap ideas that any little office can implement to help boost staff morale and improve productivity:
Go out for drinks or dinner
Let’s bring back happy hour. It doesn’t need to be every week; it could be every fortnight, or just once a month. Day-to-day firefighting at work can take a toll. You might work next to each other but socially you are isolated and don’t make time to find out more about the people you work with. The chance to socialize away from the office helps strengthen interpersonal relationships with staff. And in the world of business, relationships matter. This event does not need to be an all-out drinking session. You could go out for dinner, or just share a pizza in the park. Whatever feels comfortable to staff.
The idea of network gaming on your computers might initially turn some people off. Try to at least give it a go. Find somebody (possibly a younger staff member, or a teenage kid of another) and get him or her to set up your computer network with a multi player game. Older, simpler games are great because they don’t need fancy computer hardware and are easier to learn. Hold it at the end of the day and/or week when most people are switched off anyway. Even non-gamers can usually figure things out, or simply enjoy the screams of delight from other staff. Blowing up the boss with a grenade launcher has never been so much fun!
Do you know the birthdays of all your office staff? You should! Have a little celebration when the special day comes around. All it takes is a cake bought from the shop on the way in to work, a few candles, and a rowdy rendition of Happy Birthday To You to liven up the afternoon!
You could snap a picture on your phone and start a collection to pin up on the notice board. Even the grumpiest birthday boy or girl will appreciate the recognition.
Free Snacks and drinks
This is not as expensive as it sounds. Drop in to the supermarket and hunt for specials on cans of soda, candy, chocolate, nuts, fruit, cookies and other snacks. Some air tight jars or containers will keep them fresh and tasty for weeks. It’s the cure for people who tend to doze off in the afternoon, and don’t have any food on hand to keep them going through to the end of the day.
100% free and 100% effective. Just smile more. Work is not that bad. Share a joke, or a funny story, or just say hello to others as you come in the door each morning. If you aren’t a smiler, practice. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, please try it. It is infectious.
Five fun and cheap ideas to boost staff morale in your small office environment. There are hundreds more and these are just a few of our favorites. What are yours?