One of our most common misconceptions about work is that if it’s fun, then it’s not work. It’s as if we view fun and play as things only children are allowed to partake in. This is despite studies that have shown the positive impact of happiness at work and on a person’s overall health and longevity. The average person spends a third of their life at work. Bearing this in mind, shouldn’t workplaces prioritize their happiness? To boost lagging employee engagement, employers should make room for fun at work. Why not make a holiday of it, like hosting a National Fun at Work Day?
Also known as National Have Fun at Work Day, it is an informal holiday typically held on the last Friday of January. However, if you want to make it a monthly workplace event, then even better. In this blog, we’ll list down eight National Fun at Work Day ideas that you can host for your on-site or remote team to help you plan your event.
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National Fun at Work Day Ideas for On-site Employees
These ideas for National Fun at Work Day incorporate the office space. They’re also simple enough to pull off if you’re on a budget.
1. Themed Dress-Up Day
Everyone loves a dress-up day, more so if they’re funny and unique. Some ideas: “Dress Up As Your Boss/Teammate”, “Red Carpet Premiere” (even more fun if you can add an actual red carpet at the entrance of your office), or “Zoom Meeting Attire” (where everyone dresses up formally for their tops and as casual as possible for their bottoms).
2. Office Obstacle Course
Rearrange your office furniture and use typical office supplies to create a fun obstacle course in the workplace. If you have more space to move, use your office chairs for a silly office chair race.
3. Spaces for Fun
Devote an entire National Fun Day at Work to hobbies. To make “spaces for fun”, turn your conference rooms into mini hobby areas. A few ideas: an art room with art supplies ready, a library filled with books, a board game room, and a video game with consoles.
4. Office Scavenger Hunt
Appeal to your team’s competitive spirit with an office scavenger hunt for National Have Fun at Work Day. Divide your team into small groups and give them each a task list. Whoever completes their list first wins. Tasks can be something as simple as finding objects around the office. If you want something more creative, do an Amazing Race type of hunt and take your game in and out of the office.
National Fun at Work Day Ideas for Remote/Hybrid Employees
Remote employees don’t need to miss out on the camaraderie of National or International Fun at Work Day. These ideas are fun and easy to pull off online.
5. Office Trivia Quiz
To make your trivia quiz more exciting, do it in a game show format like Family Feud, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, or Wheel of Fortune. You can use information about your company’s history and then mix in some trivia about the team as well.
6. Getting to Know Your Co-Workers Bingo
Get to know your global team during International Fun at Work Day in a unique way. Host a co-workers’ bingo featuring fun factoids about each other. There are websites where you can create your bingo cards. Add more unique information to add more hilarity to the game.
7. Exchange Care Packages
One of the more joyful aspects of the lockdowns was receiving care packages from friends. You can extend this lovely tradition to National Have Fun at Work Day. Here are some cool care package themes: packages featuring specialties from your hometown or favorite country, your favorite unique snacks, coffee, or candy. Gather on Zoom to share your unboxing.
8. Virtual Escape Room
Escape rooms are great team-building exercises you can do on National Fun at Work Day. The best thing about it is you don’t have to be in an actual room to play it. There are various virtual escape rooms available online. You can play as one big team or divide your team into smaller groups.
Hosting this event should coincide with making the workplace happier and more fulfilling in general. These ideas for National Fun at Work Day allow your team to have fun together and bond. However, such “shallow fun” can only go so far. It’s important to balance this with what author Daniel Coyle calls “deep fun” — the happiness that comes when employees feel involved and invested in the workplace.
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Frequently Asked Questions About National Fun at Work Day
Q: Why is National Fun at Work Day celebrated?
A: National or International Fun at Work Day is celebrated to boost employee engagement and overall happiness at work. It’s also a great alternative to the usual team-building events. Its ultimate goal is employee satisfaction and retention.
Q: How can I institute National Fun at Work Day at my office?
A: If you weren’t able to celebrate National Fun at Work Day in 2022, then plan for 2023. Gather a list of ideas and present them to your boss. Better if you can announce it to your team at the start of the working year to boost everyone’s back-to-work morale.
Q: How do you make a boring workday fun?
A: Repetitive tasks can get boring, but there are still ways to make them fun and exciting. Here are some ideas:
- Make a game out of it and reward yourself afterward.
- If you’re allowed to leave the office, work at a coffee shop to change your ambiance.
- “Compete” with a teammate. Whoever finishes every to-do list item wins. The loser treats the winner to coffee.
Q: What activities to have at National Fun at Work Day?
A: You can celebrate National or International Fun at Work Day in the office or online with your remote team. Here are some ideas:
For On-site Employees
- Themed Dress-Up Day
- Office Obstacle Course
- Space for Fun
- Office Scavenger Hunt
For Remote/Hybrid Employees
- Office Trivia Quiz
- Getting to Know Your Co-Workers Bingo
- Exchange Care Packages
- Virtual Escape Room
Q: How do you create a fun work culture?
A: A fun work culture is not just fun and games. It requires a balance of light-heartedness and serious involvement. Hosting National Fun at Work Day for 2023 and the coming years is just the tip of the iceberg. To institute a fun work culture, give your employees ownership over their work. Promote collaboration, acknowledge successes (and give credit where credit’s due), encourage feedback, and set clear goals. Finally, respect your employees’ boundaries by advocating for a healthy work-life balance.