A study has shown that businesses can boost productivity while reducing absence by injecting more playtime into the workplace.
The ‘It Pays to Play’ study from Bright HR suggests that when young employees have fun in the workplace, they take less sick leave, work harder and are more productive – although the same can’t be said for the older workforce.
The top five fun activities were:
- Dress-down Friday (25%)
- Office parties/nights out (21%)
- A pool table (19%)
- An office pet (18%)
- Well-being massage days (17%)
British workers also threw other activities into the ‘fun at work’ mix, such as lottery syndicates, charity fundraising, karaoke, yoga, fancy dress days, board games and knitting clubs.
Fun also impacted positively on how many days respondents took off work due to sickness or injury. 62% of employees who had no sick days in the previous three months had had fun at work. Furthermore, 58% of those who had not experienced workplace fun had been off sick for 11 or more days, compared to 42% of those who had.
More employees in Northern Ireland than anywhere else said workplace fun was important to them, while it was least important to those in the Midlands and the North East. Interestingly, employers in North Ireland reported the lowest levels of stress (20% felt stressed all the time) compared to those in the North East, with the highest levels (42% felt stressed all the time), suggesting those having least fun have most stress.
“Trust is key in all this. If people are trusted to do their work and feel empowered to play and have fun in the workplace, a business can benefit from a more happy, motivated and productive workforce,” said Paul Tooth, CEO at Bright HR.