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When Friday comes around, most employees are looking to ease themselves into the weekend mode of fun and relaxation. But after five days of work and deadlines, it is not always easy to make that transition gracefully and with the energy to spare for a couple of days off.
Fun Fridays might just be the perfect answer! In the 1960s, the Hawaiian custom of “Aloha Friday” became a popular one, where employees wore "Aloha" shirts on the last workday during the summer months. Did you know that’s where the idea of dress-down Fridays or "Casual Fridays" came from? Where you get to switch from your professional attire to something more laidback and comfortable. This became popularised and prevalent in the 1990s. The idea behind it is to give employees a tangible thing to look forward to at the end of their week of hard work and reward them - at no added cost! Fun Fridays at the workplace follow a similar principle, but with added benefits.
Fun Fridays can involve a variety of things, starting with a more relaxed dress code, to reduced work hours, or even a Work From Home (WFH) option on Fridays. The most enjoyable parts are activities or games that employees can play together that help to bring energy levels up and stress levels down. These activities don’t even have to be long - they simply have to be fun.
Let’s dive into 7 such fun-filled activities and games you can try at the workplace online, at the office or both:
Start a conversation with themes around the following: Match the fact to the colleague. Ask each employee to note down a fun fact about their life anonymously, and have everyone guess whose fact each note belongs to.
Another fun activity is, "Would you rather?" This is a fun game of preference about a range of topics.
There is another one called Trivia based on likes or dislikes, and favourite hobbies.
Whether you are a shower singer or an amateur performer, this simple singing game can help employees to get more comfortable with each other and help break the ice. Sing your favourite songs and make for an entertaining evening!
This is a game nearly everyone knows and understands. The goal is to act out the name of a movie or phrase to your team members within a specific time limit. Your team must guess the word or phrase correctly by means of the signals or clues that you provide before time runs out. This is excellent for lowering inhibitions and channelling your inner actor.
This classic game can be played in a group with each person saying four statements, consisting of three truths and one lie. The rest of the party has to guess which one is the lie among the four. This game is known for being a good team-building and bonding exercise.
Each employee shares a picture of something related to their life, whether it’s their pet, favourite mug, movie or song they relate to. Give them 10 minutes to share the story behind the picture they shared. This is a great team-bonding exercise as you get to know one another on a deeper level.
A game that requires someone to draw a picture while their teammates try and guess what they're drawing. This classic game will help employees interact with each other better as it is less about artwork and more about communication and teamwork.
There is nothing quite like food to bring people together. Let Friday lunch or evening be filled with good food and great conversation. A great way to initiate conversation among peers is by having a potluck, wherein everybody brings their favourite food and shares it with one another.
Fun Fridays are the perfect end-of-week ritual that has many mental health benefits as well as benefits for improving the work culture of an organisation. Some of the benefits of Fun Fridays at the workplace include:
To the leaders of organizations out there: When the end of the week rolls around, you want your organization to be the one that shows that it cares for its employees’ emotional well-being. If you play your cards right, your employees won’t be saying, "Thank God it’s Friday" because they are so burnt out from the week that they just want it to be over; they will be saying it because there is a culture at work that appreciates them and gives them something to look forward to.
Debanjali Saha is a counselling psychologist who works primarily with young adults using a compassion-focused approach in therapy. She is very passionate about Self-Compassion, a topic she has been researching since 2014. She works as a consultant content writer for Silver Oak Health. She also runs a wellness community called "Couch of Compassion", where she tries to help people relate to themselves with kindness through her writing and workshops.
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