Effective Leadership Balances Productivity and Fun in the Workplace

Business leaders can increase productivity by providing a fun workplace.

Managers everywhere covet a workplace full of employees who arrive early, meet deadlines and, perhaps most importantly, are passionate about their jobs. But can productivity and fun coexist in an office environment?
“Major companies like Google and Apple are successful because their employees enjoy the work environment,” says Heidi Hamilton, managing consultant at Erickson Corporate International. “They hire people who are passionate about what they do, and give them a workspace that encourages creativity, collaboration and contribution.”
The hiring process is critical to changing the corporate environment. If you hire individuals who are aligned with the company’s vision and demonstrate a genuine passion for what they do, whether that’s creating spreadsheets or designing graphics, productivity will follow.
Workspaces should also provide employees opportunities for rest and rejuvenation. “People don’t just work at their desks,” Hamilton points out. “The human brain is always active, and it needs time to process and reflect.” Corporate environments with dedicated spaces to relax, exercise or socialize with coworkers inspire productivity, since employees are free to recharge when necessary.
And it doesn’t matter whether you’re an investment banker or designer – the same tenet works for everyone. Hamilton notes that although many companies still take a traditional approach to business, today’s generation has different needs – and meeting them is as simple as opening the lines of communication. “Today’s workers have a mass of information coming at them, and they’re much better able to multi-task than previous generations,” she says. “Managers need to engage with employees by asking what they need to be productive – and then giving it to them.”  
Ultimately, communication is key to achieving a healthy balance between fun and accountability. “Instead of telling workers what to do, create a two-way conversation,” advises Hamilton. Come to an agreement with employees as to what they can achieve in a certain time frame, and trust them to get the job done. Create an environment that ensures they retain the passion they had when they were hired and they will.


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