Lighten Up! Creating a Friendly Work Environment | DCR Workforce Blog

Lighten Up! Creating a Friendly Work Environment

I think it’s pretty safe to say that DCR is an amazing company. The individuals that work here are understanding, cooperative, hardworking and at the same time personable and caring. Hence, the environment here is ideal for that perfect work/life balance that everyone needs in a job. Even new employees are able to quickly pick up on all this positive energy.

I know. I’m new to DCR, and for my birthday the company sent me a gift, and I was taken aback by this warm surprise. In addition to celebrating employee’s birthdays, our company celebrates holiday events and milestones in their employee’s lives, even hosting baby showers. Of course I’m biased, but I think everyone can agree that this kind of friendly work environment is quite special and unique.

Tips for creating a friendly work environment

For employers that are interested in making their workplace feel friendlier and want to create more comradery among its workers, here are some ideas to lighten things up at the office and get your co-workers to make some personal connections.

  • Celebrate birthdays, holidays and other occasions with everyone at work. It could be a nice Thanksgiving meal with co-workers and their families, giving a gift certificate to someone who is getting married or hosting a baby shower for the expecting parents. When we recognize employee’s special life moments, it lets them know that they are more than just an employee, they are a person who is valued and worth caring about.
  • Sharing interests and forming a group or a club within the office is a great way for employees to get to know each other. For example, if a bunch of employees like a particular band, they could all go to a concert. If they love fashion, they can start exchanging style tips. For those who enjoy cooking, a group can be formed to share recipes. Those interested in a particular sport could form an after-office team. These types of activities lead to a positive work environment and helps employees make friends at work. One way that employers can facilitate this level of friendly bonding is by providing avenues for their workers to connect – such as a company social network, organized groups, and teams or break times for workers to gather together.
  • I’ve also heard of companies helping to make employees personal lives less stressful. A good example of this is Google. While not all companies are able to provide your typical Silicon Valley-style perks such as nap areas, on-site laundry facilities and freebies such as food, bus fare and access to an on-site gym, there are some easy ways to show workers that they’re valuable. Ideas as simple as passing along the name of someone who picks up and delivers dry cleaning, striking a group discount deal with a great cleaning service or finding a delicious food delivery service can go a long way. Helping employees deal with some of their non-work-related responsibilities can be a great stress reliever since it’s just one less thing to worry about.
  • We’re all members of a community, both local and global.Supporting community efforts and causes is a great way to give back to the community. This creates a healthy workplace and a better world.

Humor in the workplace

We can’t forget that lightening up the office also means paying attention to attitudes and habits. It’s easy to get stuck in a rigid routine. We all get caught up in making very small things seem so much bigger than what they really are. That criticism we got at work, someone not saying hi to us, getting cut off while driving to work or our cell phone not working can feel like the worst thing that ever happened.

It can, but it doesn’t have to. One thing I’ve learned through my experiences is that sometimes you have to let go, submit to the crazy and stop worrying. What else can you do? There will be times when everything is thrown at you all at once. There are going to be bad days. You will make mistakes. But it’s not the end of the world.

With that said, and a newly improved perspective in place, here are some suggestions as to how to lighten up and not take ourselves so seriously.

  • Complement someone and make their day.
  • Talk to others in a caring way. Ask how a co-worker’s weekend was or if they have anything exciting coming up for the next holiday.
  • Keep yourself in good spirits. Have a nice picture of a loved one or a beautiful place you would like to go in your office or cubicle. Listen to one of your favorite songs to cheer you up. Read something inspirational or motivational. Even just smiling at someone who looks like they need some cheering up can just change the mood of your day.
  • Try to find humor throughout your work day so you can shake off some of the monotony in your daily tasks. A funny joke to start a meeting or finding some humor in a stressful part of your day can be a great mood changer. Laughter really is the best medicine.

Creating a friendly work environment takes some work, but small changes can bring vast improvements. I think lightening up really means letting go and focusing on what’s important and that’s being happier in life. We have to not let small issues consume our thoughts.

It takes serious effort to lighten up, which is strange to say. Yet our sanity is well worth it.

How does your company maintain a friendly work environment? What tips do you have to lighten up at the office?

The content on this blog is for informational purposes only and cannot be construed as specific legal advice or as a substitute for competent legal advice. They reflect the opinions of DCR Workforce and may not reflect the opinions of any individual attorney. Do contact an attorney for advice specific to your issue or problem.
Preeta is a writer and a mom who writes about topics that strive to connect with readers in a real way.