Week 4 Healthy Minds need Fun at Work and Home
Mental well-being is often associated with people who embrace humour and fun in their lives. Fun in the workplace could be described as an atmosphere where employees experience collegiality, humour, and resulting increased feelings of satisfaction with their work. Not only does having a playful atmosphere attract new talent, but experts say play at work can promote creativity and improve productivity in people of all ages. Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2012/09/13/work-hard-play-harder-fun-at-work-boosts-creativity-productivity/#ixzz2LddVZnVO.
The National Institute for Play believes that ‘as play is woven into the fabric of social practices, we will dramatically transform our personal health, our relationships, the education we provide our children, and the capacity of our corporations to innovate’ http://www.nifplay.org/
Feelings of fun in the workplace can be the result of many things, including providing employees opportunities to continuously learn or to participate in events that ‘give back’ to others (volunteer events, charity drives). Connecting with others, giving to others, continuously learning, and staying active all contribute positively to our mental health and well-being (http://www.mentalhealthworks.ca/why-it-matters/corporate-social-responsibility).
Here are some ideas and activities to bring more feelings of fun and meaning into your workplace environment that will also contribute to a positive workplace culture and a psychologically healthy and safe environment:
Kick start Healthy Workplace Week
Develop activities that focus on ‘Fun and Humour at Work’.
Corporate Social Responsibility
Help employees understand the broader the impacts of mental health issues beyond the workplace including on our families, communities, and society at large. Share video’s with employees http://www.mentalhealthworks.ca/why-it-matters/corporate-social-responsibility.
Serve a Meal to the Homeless
Giving to others as either small acts of kindness or large ongoing volunteer efforts can lead to feelings of positive self-worth and happiness helping to create a positive state of mind. Organize an evening or weekend when your company can volunteer at a food bank or help with feeding the homeless.
Sign Up with Habitat for Humanity
Building a home takes hundreds of hours and many people. Contact Habitat for Humanity for information about projects in your area.
Organize a Blood Donor Clinic
Canadian Blood Services will run a clinic in your location or connect you to a blood drive in your neighbourhood. If you can’t or don’t want to give blood, volunteers are always needed.
Lend Your Skills
Ask your organization about donating your skills to a charitable project that demonstrates community care and good corporate citizenship.
Nominate a Colleague
Nominate a colleague who gives back to the community. Put the nominees’ names into a hat and pick a winner. Ask employees to donate a dollar and then donate the money to the charity of the winner’s choice.
Wear your Jersey to Work Day
Purchase gift certificates (related to employees’ favourite sports and teams) for a raffle for the employees who participate.
Show-off Your Family
Create a Family Wall where employees can post a family photo, or encourage them to display family photos at their workstations so others can get to know their loved ones better.
Count the Dependents Day
Have each department count and report the number of dependents connected to employees. You may be surprised with the results.
Organize a Business Learning Opportunity
Learning new skills can fill a personal need, but also lead to feelings of deep satisfaction and improved self-confidence. Not-for-profit organizations often need skilled people to assist with budgeting, strategic planning, and project management roles. The United Way looks to the business community each year for coordinators and managers for yearly initiatives. Board members for this type of organization are often difficult to find.
Have lunch with a Colleague
Spend time catching up. Even better, organize a reunion of several friends. Determine a time for the next get-together before everyone leaves.
Monthly Team Outings
Have team members organize monthly staff outings by giving each person a month to plan for.
Introduce art therapy in your organization
For more information visit: http://www.internationalarttherapy.org/whatisarttherapy.html or the Toronto Art Therapy Institute at http://www.tati.on.ca/ .