In the office, especially in a bigger company, it can be easy to forget that ‘fun’ and ‘personal validation’ can be hugely beneficial to start any working day. In reality, day-to-day activities (such as peace, play and power poses) will go a long way to helping your workforce become more productive. 

Many other cultures embrace this and don’t think it’s at all ‘weird’ or ‘odd’ that a spot of group exercise or even group laughter can kick-start the working day. This is common in many cultures.

Yet often here our ‘stiff upper lip’ attitude can make us feel rather ‘stupid’ or ‘woo woo’ if we embrace this kind of activity. It can be dismissed as unproductive and a waste of time – and yet, we don’t seem to understand that as a nation we are among the least productive in Europe. The facts absolutely bear this out.

Therefore this kind of practice must come from the top down and perhaps become part of the culture of your brand or your business. Even when some staff members feel awkward or embarrassed, when they start to see the results over time both in attitude, energy and in results, you’ll find most will soon be on board, overcoming their initial resistance.

‘Play’ can be a tool to bring about cohesion in the workplace, where the leaders or managers recognise that by bringing an individual to a place of peace or giving them a sense of fun, releases positive chemicals from the brain ready for the day ahead. This could be some tai chi movements, for example.

Therefore don’t just think of ‘play’ as an occasional social work event, occasional team-building opportunity or a one-off Christmas party – think of it as an ingredient within every working day.

Many, many small business owners do this already as they absolutely understand that a poor mindset can mean they get no work done at all – and therefore they earn nothing at all. For them it soon becomes vital to inject ‘fun’ and ‘play’ into each day whereas in bigger teams this gets overlooked.

Here are a few of my suggestions around harnessing the power of the human mind and brain for your teams to increase positivity in the workplace as well as productivity.

Group gratitude

Start every day with group gratitude – everyone names something they’re grateful for over the last 24 hours and why. Make it fun! Encourage people to clap and ensure they know that nothing is too small or too big for this. This encourages a positive mindset, even if someone has had a bad day previously. This can also be done in teams if it’s not practical to do this because you have a large number of staff.

Daily intention

Another tool is to ask your team members to set in intention for the day ahead and to share it within the team. Let’s not always make it about hitting numbers or getting clients. What about something like living in the moment, smiling every hour, or telling people we appreciate them and why?

Strike a power pose

We’ve probably all heard about the benefits of striking the ‘superhero pose’, so how about bringing that in as a fun mood booster? You could even do this spontaneously as a team leader if you feel the energy of your team has dropped or is flagging.

Maybe it’s a Monday thing. It could even be a game… nominate someone as the Monday Superhero and every time they stand up and strike a pose, everyone else follows. Or, perhaps, you all do it at the start of every sales meet? However you use it, keep it lighthearted – if it’s not fun, it’ll lose its power.

Morning meditations and affirmations

Need a bit more calm in the office? How about leading a morning meditation? Or mix it up with some of the other tools I’ve suggested. It doesn’t need to be very long… some simple breathing exercises could do it. Or you could play full out and pump a short, guided meditation through the sound system, if you have one.

Fancy something a bit simpler? What about a daily affirmation, perhaps sent as a message to every employee each morning, or on the intranet? You could even invite people to submit their own, with a reward for the winning affirmation of the month.

We are what we eat

If your budget will stretch to it, how about hosting a monthly healthy food day? Get a healthy lunch or even breakfast catered for everyone to share, or encourage people to do a healthy ‘bring and share’, or simply to go green / vegan that day.

It’s proven that there is a direct link between what we eat and our mood and filling up on coffee to keep going, or raiding the vending machine for a sugary treat are not good practices every day.

Also this may allow some people within your teams to showcase their love of food, their dietary needs and their learnings around nutrition. For example, it’s highly likely you will have some staff who are Type 2 diabetics. You may not know this, yet they will probably be far more knowledgeable about food and nutrition than others and they may want to share this knowledge.

It may be that you allocate budget to this and allow a staff member to lead the way each month on it.

And finally…

There are all kinds of ways you can create a fun, healthy, inclusive workplace – the most important thing is to genuinely make it part of a positive culture, rather than allowing it to feel like an enforced ‘tick box’ exercise.

Depending on the size of your company, and your budget, you could bring in a wellbeing therapist/nutritional therapist/motivational speaker regularly – everything from shoulder massages to Reiki for staff members or perhaps, hold a regular yoga session, gong bath, laughter therapy or breathwork session.

Remember, though, creating a culture of workplace wellbeing doesn’t need to cost anything but a bit of time, lots of care and a genuinely inclusive culture with a desire to make a difference.

Taz Thornton
Inspirational speaker at Taz Thornton | Website | + posts

Taz Thornton has won multiple awards for her motivational speaking and for coaching around personal branding and business growth. She has written two best-selling books and has regularly appeared in the media, both local and national, sharing her expertise and her own stories around her business and her life.