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8 Things Only People Who Work In A Fun And Productive Culture Do

8 Things Only People Who Work In A Fun And Productive Culture Do

Everyone wants to work in a fun and productive culture but what are the characteristics of such a place? What do the people who work in these places do that’s different?

Here are 8 pointers to what makes for a fun and productive culture

1. They start with enthusiasm

People who work in fun and productive places are excited about the role and the company. According to start-up CEO Jenna Fernandes, leaders have a responsibility to make this attitude a key part of hiring after ensuring new recruits have the technical capability. Having people who are excited at the start makes a whole lot more sense than trying to build it later.

2. They know what they’re working for

Great organisations have really clear visions and shared gaols that make it easy for people to understand and engage in. A great example is Amazon’s:

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Our vision is to be earth’s most customer centric company; to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they might want to buy online.

If people hare confused by a wordy and unclear set of goals then it will act against them taking action. Clear vision and goals direct action and productivity and help create a good work culture.

3. They communicate with their bosses

Fun places are where the bosses are genuinely approachable. Sometimes you need to put fun back into workplaces – which will be harder than building it in from the clean slate of start-up – and a first step is making sure communication is two way.

Communication with leaders needs to be informal. Too often bosses rely on the set piece town hall type meetings. Two way communication works better in smaller informal and fun settings where staff will be less afraid of asking questions or offering an opinion.

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4. They get to know their bosses

It’s no fun working for an anonymous person who hides in their office. As well as great communication, leaders need to be open about who they are and what they are doing. They need to be themselves – real, authentic and productive as well.

This is extremely important for leaders, particularly entrepreneurs in the midst of starting up, as they can set a pattern of leading by example and embed it in their work culture.

5. They work flexibly

One of Jayson Demer’s strategies to encourage fun and productivity is not to focus on schedules but to enable staff to work in the way that best suits their productivity whether that’s some days at home, flexitime or just odd shifts. This has to be underpinned by trust between co-workers and managers. Old school managers who don’t understand what they’re staff are doing will manage on people’s presence not their productivity regardless of whether they’ve a team of night owls or larks.

Flexible working helps individuals balance other demands in their lives particularly family responsibilities. It’s more common in European countries like Germany where worker productivity is high where a more rounded view of the worker is taken.

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6. They don’t distract themselves with social media

Productive people don’t spend all day distracting themselves with social media updates. Cyber-loafing for is the disengaged and unproductive.

This was well illustrated in a BBC documentary on Germany where the reporter was rebuked for using his smart-phone in the workplace. Interruptions, even those we create ourselves, have been shown to take huge amounts of time as restarting whatever was being done takes time and is therefore a drain productivity as well as showing a lack of engagement.

A fun work culture is a sure way to mitigate against social media distraction.

7. They play together

Great offices are not just well decorated and beautifully design they have spaces where staff can take a break and play together. Here decompressing from the intensity of work can happen by for instance a simple game of table soccer. It’s opportunity to build bonds and well as get a healthy mental break.

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Humans aren’t machines and so well organized downtime activities that inject fun into routine breaks is a good way to balance stress and pressure.

Play can extend outside office hours whether that’s forming a sports team with colleagues or holding exciting off-site social events.

8. They do stuff outside work

Whether as a team or as individuals people from fun and productive places get involved in activities outside work. That could be volunteering in a local community project such as decorating an older people’s home or creative personal projects such as photography or writing.

Those with wide interests are likely to be fun and more inspiring to others. If all you ever see are the same walls of the same office you’ll not have a lot of fresh ideas to keep the place exciting.

And that is the key difference – fun and productivity begin and end with excitement and you won’t find it in other work cultures.

Featured photo credit: Highways Agency via imcreator.com

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

How to Be Happy at Work and Find Fulfillment in Your Career

If you’re going to spend 1/3 of our life at work, you should enjoy it, right?

Trust me, I know that’s easier said than done. Difficult coworkers, less-than-desirable tasks, or even just being in the wrong position can all lead to a lack of enjoyment and fulfillment in your work.

But what if I told you it doesn’t have to be this way? Or better yet, if you struggle with all of the above (and then some), what if I told you that enjoying your work and finding fulfillment regardless of those obstacles is possible?

Don’t believe me? I don’t blame you because I was there too. Before implementing the tips below, I struggled to get through each day, much less find real fulfillment, in the office. Now, even after the toughest days on the job, I still come away with feelings of pride, accomplishment, and fulfillment. The best news is, so can you.

If you’re ready to make those hours count and find happiness and fulfillment in the office, then read on to find out how to be happy at work and find fulfillment in your career:

1. Discover the root(s) of the problem

For this first step, we’ll need to think back to 8th-grade physics (humor me). We all know Newton’s 3rd law, “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” When you think about it, the same can be said outside of physics, and we see this law play out in our daily lives, day after day.

Simply put, all the issues we deal with in the office (and life in general) affect us in a noticeable way.

If you’re appreciated at work, like the work you do and receive frequent praise, promotions, or raises, then this will probably have an altogether positive effect on your life in the office.

But what if we reverse this? What if you feel under appreciated, get passed up for promotions, or get denied raises? This is sure to affect the way you feel at work on a negative level.

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So, before you can implement the steps of feeling happy and fulfilled at work, we first have to discover the reasons why you don’t feel that way already.

Think about it, write a list, or make a mental note. Run through all the reasons you’re dissatisfied in the office, and don’t hold back. Knowing the exact obstacles you’re facing will make overcoming them that much easier.

In fact, as a side-challenge to this article, I recommend picking the top three reasons contributing to your dissatisfaction at work and using the following tips to tackle them.

2. Practice gratitude for an instant uplift

Did you know the simple act of feeling grateful can increase your happiness and make you more fulfilled at work?[1]

Well, it’s true, and it’s scientifically proven.

Dr. Lisa Firestone notes that practicing gratitude “reminds us of what we lacked in the past.” Meaning, it serves as both a boost to happiness and a bit of a wake-up call that things have been or could be, much worse.

Trying to conjure up feelings of gratitude can seem almost impossible when your work situation seems bleak, but hear me out: There are incredibly easy ways to get started and it doesn’t involve trying to “force” yourself to feel grateful about things that stress you out.

For an instant pick-me-up, try this:

Find a loose piece of paper, a blank sticky note, or anything you can write on, be it physical or digital. List just three things that you are absolutely without-a-doubt thankful for in your life.

Now here’s the trick: Don’t just list what you’re grateful for, you have to list why you’re grateful for them, too.

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For example, simply saying “I’m grateful for my kids” will probably make you feel good, sure, but what if we could amplify the warm, fuzzy feeling into real, lasting motivation?

Instead, write the reason you’re so thankful for your children. Is it because they make you laugh and forget about other stressors? Or maybe they help to remind you of why you go to work every day in the first place?

Whatever your reasons may be, jot them down and keep your list somewhere you can see it while you work. A quick glance at your gratitude list throughout the day can provide powerful, positive motivation to keep going.

Bonus:

If you can find just three things to be thankful for that specifically relate to your job, and list why those things make you grateful, your list can also help you find fulfillment in your work itself which can give you an even bigger boost of positivity throughout the day.

3. Take meaningful time for yourself

We all know creating a strong work-life balance can be crucial to feeling satisfied in our jobs, but rarely do we ever address how we’re spending our time outside of work.

Many of us survive a 9-hour work day and commute home only to find ourselves busy with our personal to-do lists, running a household, and taking care of a child (or 2 or 3, and so on).

If you spend all your time working, whether in the office or within your household, you’re going to feel drained at some point. This is why setting meaningful time for yourself every day is highly important.

Look, I get it: I don’t know anyone in the working world who can shun all responsibility for a 3-movie marathon or happy hour with friends whenever they feel like it. But finding time for yourself, be it just 30 minutes to an hour, can really make a difference in how you feel at work.

This works because you’ll have time to actually relax and let the day’s stress melt away while you enjoy something just for you. The to-do lists and stressors will still be there after you’re refreshed and ready to tackle them.

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No time for me-time? Try this:

If you have a busy household, you’ll need to capitalize on a block of time you know will be completely uninterrupted. The easiest way to do this: try waking up 30 minutes to an hour earlier than usual (or push bedtime back an hour if you’re a night owl, like me) and take time to do something you enjoy.

This could be reading with a cup of tea, catching up on Facebook, spending time on a passion project—anything! As long as it’s meaningful to you, it works!

Bonus:

Starting your day with meaningful time for yourself can set you up to have a positive mood that lasts well into office hours, and having your me-time in the evening can give you something positive to look forward to during the day.

4. Get productive and feel accomplished

Don’t you just love the feeling of checking the last item off of a hefty to-do list? That’s because self-motivation can be a huge driver of positivity and success.

When we accomplish something, no matter how small, it makes us feel good, plain and simple. Applying this tactic to your daily work can be the motivator you need to find fulfillment during the daily office grind.

While there are tons of steps to get more done at work, I’ll share my personal favorite: Prioritizing.

Now, many people handle prioritizing differently. Some like to tackle the little tasks first so they can spend focused time on the big to-dos. Others like to knock out the big items first and get to the smaller ones when they can.

No matter which camp you’re in, you may be missing one crucial step: Time management.

So how’s this work? When you factor in the amount of time your priorities will take, it can transform your productivity ten-fold.

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Say you have three top priorities for the day. You might jump into the smaller ones or the bigger ones depending on your preferred method, and then find yourself out of time and bringing work home with you at the end of the day.

This is prevented when you factor in time. Knowing how long each item will take, or deliberately setting specific blocks of time for your priorities can help you accomplish more in the same 8-9 (or 12) hours that you typically spend at work.

Try this:

Take a look at your priorities and consider how long they should take. Pop into your Google calendar (or Filofax, whatever works for you) and schedule time to work on your priority items around any important meetings or events of the day.

The most important thing to remember is to stick to your dedicated time.

Often, when we know exactly how long we have to work on something (and honor this time limit), we’re motivated to get more done on time to avoid taking work home at the end of the day.

The bottom line

There’s no need to waste 1/3 of our lives feeling unsatisfied at work. Luckily, you now have the tools to get started, take back your time, and become happy and fulfilled at work again.

The only question is — which tip will you try first?

Featured photo credit: Ellyot via unsplash.com

Reference

[1]Psychology Today: The Healing Power of Gratitude

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