How to Have Fun at Work with Employees: 20 Ideas

By: | Updated: February 13, 2024

This is a guide to helping employees have fun at work.

Employees may have a good time at work while still getting the job done. As the manager, you can learn how to have fun at work while staying productive. The more you know about fun work activities such as games, talent shows, and group volunteering, the more equipped you will be to adopt these practices in your workplace. Making work fun involves devising a plan that encourages positive thinking and a healthy dose of humor. Having fun at work promotes bonding and camaraderie among coworkers, increases employee retention, and boosts engagement.

Fun working environments can increase company job satisfaction statistics and employee retention. Making work more enjoyable is an effective employee engagement strategy.

This post touches on topics such as:

  • how to have fun at work while staying productive
  • how to make work fun as a manager
  • how to inject fun into the workplace
  • how to have fun at work virtually
  • having fun at work is important
  • how to make work more enjoyable

Here come the tips!

Ideas for making the workplace fun

Having fun at work is important because it boosts morale, enhances creativity, and fosters a positive workplace culture. The following are exciting ideas on how to inject fun into the workplace for your employees.

1. Host pet days

Pet Days are a great way to create a more relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere at the workplace. On specific days, employees can bring their furry, feathered, or scaled companions to the office. This event boosts moods and encourages interaction and conversation among colleagues who might not otherwise interact. Pet Days can help reduce stress, increase job satisfaction, and create a more welcoming and inclusive workplace. Consider writing clear guidelines to ensure the safety and comfort of all employees and their pets.

2. Hold a photography contest

A workplace photography contest is a creative and engaging activity that lets employees showcase their artistic talents. Employees can participate by submitting photographs based on a specific theme or subject. These contests encourage artistic expression and foster camaraderie as colleagues appreciate and discuss each other’s work. Additionally, firms can display the winning photos in the office. This display will add visual appeal and create a sense of accomplishment and recognition for the employees involved, making them feel more valued in the workplace.

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3. Start a bring your hobby to work day

Bring Your Hobby to Work Day is a fantastic way to celebrate the unique interests and talents of your employees. During this event, employees can share their hobbies and passions with their coworkers. For instance, teams may play musical instruments, paint, craft, or even demonstrate unique skills like juggling. This day allows colleagues to connect personally and discover shared interests. Showcasing hobbies breaks the monotony of the workday and strengthens team bonds. Employees will see each other as multi-dimensional individuals with unique talents and interests beyond their job roles.

4. Go on a desk safari

A desk safari is a creative and engaging way to foster a sense of curiosity and connection among coworkers. In this activity, employees explore each other’s workspaces as if on a safari to discover fascinating or amusing items. This quick activity is a fun way to break away from the usual work routine. Additionally, safaris encourage employees to interact and learn about their colleagues in a lighthearted manner. From quirky desk decorations to unexpected personal interests, the desk safari can reveal hidden parts of coworkers’ personalities. This event may also spark conversations that might not have happened otherwise, making it a memorable and enjoyable workplace experience.

5. Start a fantasy football league

A workplace fantasy football league adds an exciting element to the work environment, especially during the NFL season. Employees draft their own fantasy football teams and compete against each other. This experience fosters friendly rivalries and camaraderie among sports enthusiasts. Additionally, a league is an opportunity to build a sense of community and teamwork within the workplace. Employees engage in strategic discussions, playful banter, and good-natured competition. The league offers a fun distraction during breaks and provides a shared interest that can help colleagues bond.

6. Engage in harmless pranks

You can have a wonderful time with your colleagues by playing harmless pranks at work. For instance, if you want to scare your coworkers, then perhaps replace the props or frames on their work desks or place rubber snakes and mice in unsuspecting areas in the office.

Check out more work-safe pranks in this list of virtual April Fool’s Day ideas.

7. Set up witty customs and traditions

You can bring a little lightheartedness to the workplace by introducing amusing customs. For example, you might require team members to dance every time they grab a snack. Or, coworkers can race each other in their office chairs when going for departmental meetings. These routines are fun because they remove interaction barriers and give employees a shared identity.

8. Host fancy clothing days

The phrase “dress for success” refers to how your clothing impacts your mood. However, you may not know that this phenomenon is called “clothing cognition.”

Wearing something that makes you feel joyful, peaceful, strong, or competent may influence your behavior, thoughts, and words. For example, yellow can bring happiness, optimism, and warmth to a room. Giving out employee souvenirs such as free shirts can help foster a healthy work environment.

Themed days allow workers to dress and act consistently with the day’s theme. Employees can dress up and bring props, or they may imitate characters. Examples of themes to use include bosses, superheroes, and celebrities.

9. Allow humor and inside jokes

Sharing a laugh with coworkers may also make the workplace fun. If you come across a joke that makes you laugh, share it with your colleagues through email or group chat. Jokes that are in line with the goals of your business are acceptable.

You can also find humor in work challenges. Making light of unfavorable workplace issues through comedy can build resilience. You can alleviate tension and stress by sharing stories of strange but amusing client experiences, playfully teasing coworkers after mistakes, or laughing in the face of deadlines. By using humor, employees can work with more enthusiasm and clarity in less stressful situations. This tip will also work for managers looking for how to have fun at work virtually or onsite.

Here is a list of funny icebreaker jokes.

10. Start a book club at the workplace

Some employees’ idea of fun involves intellectual stimulation and riveting conversation. For the literature lovers on your team, form a book club. Team members read the same book simultaneously and discuss their opinions for this activity. You may suggest books to read and what new genres to try out. You can schedule meetings with other club members to discuss the story or characters.

Here is how to run an office book club.

11. Form an employee band

A workplace band allows workers to express their musical preferences and talents. If you and your colleagues like playing the drums and guitar, then you may form a band. You can have rehearsal times to play at company events like board meetings and Christmas parties. If employees do not have the time and bandwidth to dedicate to joining a group and rehearsing, then you could hold occasional jam sessions for musically talented team members instead.

12. Create an achievement board

An office “wall of fame” is a way for managers to publicly recognize and reward their staff. The manager can put up an image of the employee and their accomplishment so their coworkers to congratulate them for their efforts. It is advisable to develop a timetable for adding information to the wall. You can have distinctive and appealing designs to complement workers and consistently keep them productive and motivated.

13. Celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays at work

Employees are usually more excited if they can celebrate holidays on the job. You can observe holidays or special occasions by redecorating the office, exchanging presents, and throwing parties.

As a manager, you can appreciate your employees’ work by celebrating their work anniversaries. You can design the event around the employee’s music and food tastes and promote the celebration ahead of time. For example, for an employee’s work anniversary, you could record and edit a video of coworkers recanting their best recollections of the employee and why they appreciate working with them.

You can also commemorate employees’ birthdays with parties. Make sure you and your coworkers know about future birthdays by setting up a calendar. You can mark these occasions with cake, cards, and breaks to enjoy time together as a team.

Here are lists of office birthday ideas and virtual team celebration ideas.

14. Encourage breaks

Encouraging employees to take regular breaks throughout the day energizes and motivates workers. Often, this tip might demand stepping outside the work area for a short period of at least ten minutes. Designating areas for employees to meditate, perform yoga, sleep, or read can help in-house staff de-stress.

It would help if you encouraged your employees to take a few minutes out of the day to do fun activities to reduce their stress levels. Taking a little break from one’s daily routine may profoundly affect one’s mental health. Do your best to take timeouts, and urge others to do the same. For example, work on a crossword puzzle, listen to music, stroll around the block, or peruse a local bookshop. Be sure to take time to step away and enjoy an activity that helps you disconnect from the immediate task.

15. Create a gallery wall using photographs

You may add visual appeal to your workplace by setting up picture walls. You might choose a wall in the break room or another office common area where workers congregate. Employees can hang up wedding images, trip photos, or portraits of beloved pets. You can even make an area for baby images where your team members try to figure out who is who.

For more fun with photos, check out this list of picture scavenger hunt templates.

16. Allow workplace decoration

One sure way to make the workplace fun is to allow employees to add some personal taste to their workspace. Workers can bring items to decorate the office, including photos of their loved ones. There are also several ways to spruce up your workspace, such as changing the wallpaper to a brighter hue or rearranging the furniture to make it look more welcoming.

One workplace makeover method is a paint-a-thon, a  competition that allows team members to make art on the office walls. Team members can agree on a decoration theme and have a leader oversee the project.

17. Engage in community service

Workplace volunteering may foster camaraderie and goodwill while also benefiting the community. For example, you and your team may set out to clean up a neighborhood park or share canned food on a weekday. By allowing your employees to do community service, you can break work monotony and give team members a deeper sense of purpose. Helping others can be a powerful mood booster and the shared mission can accelerate team bonding.

Here is a list of charity team building ideas.

18. Promote group meditation

When you and your coworkers practice group meditation together, you can release the stress of the workplace. The practice promotes mental and physical well-being. Activities such as breathing and yoga exercises can relieve tension and improve relaxation and tranquility.

Check out more employee wellness ideas.

19. Host a welcome party for new staff

You can throw a welcome party to welcome new employees and introduce them to the rest of your staff in a pleasant and casual atmosphere. Then, as an icebreaker, you can ask your team members to share a fun fact. You can also have meetings with food and music for your staff to socialize during work hours.

20. Create a relaxation or gaming area

Workers may take a break from assignments and blow off steam through friendly competition with a gaming room in the workplace. For example, you can install foosball, pool, and Ping-Pong tables depending on your available space and budget. You can use an empty office or supply closet. You can get cards and board games to keep your workers entertained during their lunch breaks. You could consider hosting competitions where the winning teams get awards.

You can also set aside a section for jokes and create a “humor zone” in a break room. In this area, staff can submit cartoons, funny phrases and photos, and other comical content to help coworkers relax.

Suppose you are working with a virtual or hybrid team. Instead of having a physical games area, play online games to have fun and make friends. Video charades, Donut for Slack, Overcooked 2, Tabletopia, and Among Us are a few suggestions.

Here are lists of board games playable online, the best board games for teams, and office break room ideas.

The benefits of having a fun workplace

Learning how to make work fun as a manager can positively impact teams and the entire organization. The following are some of the reasons to make the workplace fun.

1. More creativity

Fun is essential for creativity. Whether you are a toddler or an adult, you are more likely to learn while having fun. Folks learn better when they appreciate what they are doing and are in a good frame of mind. A fun workplace also inspires imagination and problem-solving skills.

There is distinct energy and vibe in creative spaces. These environments are full of conversation and have many engaged employees. By incorporating entertaining activities into the everyday routines of workers, you can foster a creative culture. Formal contests and projects can boost innovations in the workplace.

Here is a list of inspiring creativity quotes.

2. Better brand reputation

An organization may benefit greatly from having fun at work. Sharing stories about the positive environment in your company can form the basis of an engaging employer branding narrative. You can promote familiarity and confidence in your organization by opening a window into the workings of your company. Potential customers and passive employees are more inclined to interact with your firm if they feel like they know it and can see its “less serious” entertaining side.

3. Greater advocacy

Advocates have a significant impact on how the general public views a company. Employees that have fun and are enthusiastic about their work are more likely to spread the word about your company’s products and services both online and offline. If your workers spread the word to their social networks, then you can increase the number of people who know about your business at no extra cost.

For tips, check out this list of books on employee experience.


Having fun at work is vital for your employees’ health and productivity. Workdays do not have to be gloom and doom, even though most individuals prefer spending time with their loved ones than at the office. Thinking of creative ways to motivate your employees can improve the office atmosphere and increase job satisfaction. Not to mention, having fun at work makes for a more pleasant working environment. It is helpful to encourage your team members to take breaks, play games and have fun.

Feel free to also check out this guide to making virtual meetings fun and this explanation of the benefits of team building at work.

Next, check out this guide to creating a positive work environment, this one on personality hires, and this list of dress up day ideas.

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FAQ: Fun at work

The following are some frequently asked questions about how to have fun at work

What are good ideas to make work fun for employees?

You can make work fun for employees by introducing work retreats, creating a relaxation area, and allowing workplace decoration.

How do you make work fun for teams?

You can make work fun for teams by organizing a talent show, engaging in community service, and promoting group meditation.

Why is making the workplace fun important?

Making the workplace fun is important because it promotes creativity, improves communication, and boosts employee productivity.

Author avatar


People & Culture Director at
Grace is the Director of People & Culture at She studied Industrial and Labor Relations at Cornell University, Information Science at East China Normal University and earned an MBA at Washington State University.


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