Everyone loves that Friday feeling and looks forward to skipping out of the office door and into the weekend at the end of the day. One study by SMF found that happy employees are 20% more productive and that sales can increase by nearly 40%.
Here are some Friday traditions you could implement in your workplace for happy employees.
1. Finish early. Cut Friday hours so everyone can leave earlier. Simple to do and guaranteed to put a smile on their faces.
2. Theme Casual Friday. Theme suggestions are popped in a box and one is picked out at the weekly staff meeting. Watch the excitement and laughter build through the week as teams discuss their outfit plans for 90's Friday and debate if shell suits will ever come back into fashion.
3. Movie night in the boardroom (or garden if you’re lucky enough to have one at work). Watching films together has never been easier thanks to the likes of Netflix. Organising a movie night is relatively easy and low-cost. If your office doesn't have a super fancy Star Wars themed cinema room like Money.co.uk, invest in a smartphone projector for less than €20. Don't forget the popcorn!
4. Free food and drink. Order in pizza or platters of sandwiches for lunch then soft drinks and beer for later in the day. Have the food and drink delivered to communal areas to encourage people to mingle.
5. Office tournament. Run a Friday tournament through the month or quarter with elimination rounds, penalty shoot offs and Final Friday. Each stage of the tournament can involve a different activity. One week could be board games, then a pop quiz, a race or even a bake-off. Teams could be your different departments e.g. The Accounting team vs the HR team. Or, even better, teams could be a mix from across departments, helping people get to know each other better.
6. Feel Good Friday. Bring in Beauty Therapists or Masseuses to offer shoulder massages at the desks or mini-manicures during the break. If you have space, make time for your team to have yoga or meditation hour. Alternatively, organise part of the day when everyone can tune into a guided online desk yoga tutorial.
7. Cultivate creativity. Creativity is proven to reduce stress and encourage new ideas. To help your employees tap into these benefits introduce an option (also supply the tools/materials) for them to participate in a creative activity together. This could be anything from learning a new language, learning to make spiral bowls or even painting an office mural.
8. Stop. It is easy to get stuck in a non-stop work routine. Jumping from one task to the next. Keeping our heads down and focusing on the next deadline. However, if you never stop to take stock of what’s working and what’s not working how can you be sure that it’s not all in vain? Use Fridays to take stock by setting aside some time for the teams to sit down and review the week. Ask them to share their highs and lows and encourage everyone to participate in problem-solving. Afterwards, get everyone to take 10-20 minutes at their desks to get organised for the week ahead.
9. Volunteer together. There are thousands of charities in need of a few pairs of extra hands. Volunteer Ireland runs a Team Impact Programme that will match your organisation up with a not-for-profit group in need of help. Volunteering offers an opportunity to make a difference in the community you work in and to establish new relationships with your employees who wouldn’t usually have the opportunity to collaborate.
10. Invite in a guest. Invite in a local business owner, journalist or sports star into the office to give a talk on their area of expertise or even just a topic that they are passionate about. Having an ‘outsider’ come in and offer their story and perspective can help employees come out of the bubble of their own work and can become a talking point around the office. Invite suggestions of who people would like to invite in and promote the visit around the workspace to create a buzz.
11. Get involved with PechaKucha. PechaKucha Nights are informal and fun gatherings where creative people get together and share their ideas, works, thoughts, holiday snaps -- just about anything, really -- in the PechaKucha 20x20 format. Every PechaKucha Night city is hosted by a local organiser, who has an annual Handshake Agreement with PechaKucha HQ to run their event series. Look up your city to find the local organiser and have your team go along and present. If your team’s too big to fit on the stage, choose 2 or 3 to present and the rest to go along and cheer them on.
12. Department Bake-off. Encourage some healthy competition by pitting 2 different departments against each other each Friday in an office bake-off. The baking can be done at home (we’re assuming you don’t have an on-site oven/bakery) and brought in for the whole office to taste cast their vote.
13. Flattery Friday. Initiate a tradition of offering praise, positive feedback and compliments to one another every Friday. Sometimes we just assume that our colleagues know that we think they are ace, but maybe they don’t. Introducing a Flattery Friday tradition will remind everyone to actually tell someone that they work with that they were impressed with the report they created, inspired by them to try a different way of approaching a problem or even that they like the jaunty angle of their bowtie!