Just because managers encourage a few laughs in the office, does not mean the office is going to look like Barats and Beretta’s Cubicle Wars…
A few laughs could actually turn into more teamwork, trust, and ingenuity between employees.
While adding a slide or jungle-gym-like structure to the office might be overdoing it, companies like Google, Box, and Facebook have got to be on to something.
Turns out, “work perks” go a long way in team building and motivation – an essential aspect of collaboration in the workplace. In fact, according to a study by Harvard Business Review, water cooler talk increases productivity: “the more communicating your team does outside of formal meetings, the more productive it’s likely to be.” Having a little fun with colleagues in the workplace, builds a collaborative culture that is impossible to build artificially, a culture based on trust. Connecting employees on any level, professional or not, directly impacts their collaborative efforts. After all, nobody shares their brightest ideas with people they don’t trust.
It happens more often than we think; some completely natural, non-work related conversations can blossom into stunning ingenuity. Jacob Morgan provided a great example of a drilling corporation, where many side conversations were happening between employees out in the field and management was starting to scrutinize the minutes of productivity. Then one day, employees noticed an expensive drill bit was melting. Since the employees had already started to build relationships and share things openly, they were able to confidently share a solution to the problem. This turned out to be a billion dollar solution.
So if there’s a little bit of fun buzzing around the office, don’t be too quick to shut it down. It could just be the billion-dollar solution your company was looking for. Do you have any examples of ingenuity brewed from non-work related conversations? We’d love to hear them!