The workplace doldrums — we've all experienced this phenomenon.
It's the slow malaise that descends in the office when there's nothing to look forward to and everyone seems stuck in the rut of the day-to-day routine. The feeling — boredom — is natural in even the most innovative of workplaces. As human beings, we're creatures of habit and often default to the path of least resistance, especially at work. That means we often wait for someone else to initiate excitement, even though we all have the power to perk up the office.
The next time you sense this vibe at work, give one of these ways to beat office boredom a try.
The mention of icebreakers often cues moans, but they can be an easy, cheap and quick method to get people to connect. Jolt your coworkers out of the usual Monday morning meeting blues with any of these 53 ideas.
Thaw the office: 53 Fun Ice Breakers to Help You Kick off a Successful Meeting
Whether it's the holidays and it's time for the annual shindig, or, you want to celebrate a great quarter (or the start of summer, or the close of a successful round of funding or your CEO's birthday — you get the idea), a party can rally the office into the pursuit of fun, at least for an evening.
Eat some cake: 10 Ways to Celebrate Office Birthdays
Have a laugh: 20 Best Office Party Memes
While not my favorite past time by a longshot (singing...in public?), karaoke is a perpetual favorite for team bonding and general silliness. Generally cost effective and inclusive, group karaoke offers a chance for colleagues to rock out without adding pressure to drink, which the standard happy hour without an activity often encourages.
Some companies are lucky enough to have patio space and room to grill. If it's the season, throw a BBQ or picnic; in the winter or off-season, try an office potluck. It's an opportunity to learn about your coworkers' hidden talents. Maybe Mandy from accounting is a terrific pickle maker for instance, or, Tim from marketing makes a to-die-for chocolate torte and is an amateur cake decorator.
Get cooking: 25 Delicious (and Easy) Potluck Ideas for Work
You don't have to work in HR to celebrate your employees and coworkers. While employee appreciation day is once a year, you can show appreciation for the people you work with any day of the week (and we have nine suggestions on how to do it!).
Until I moved to New York, I had never heard of "Summer Fridays," a perk offered by some companies that allows employees to leave early on Fridays. But it's not a new, or niche concept. According to a 2018 survey by Gartner, 46 percent of companies in its Global Talent Monitor offer this incentive. If your workplace isn't one of them, try making the case for it. There are plenty of studies that show an increase in productivity when required office hours are capped.
If it's near a holiday, why not surprise your coworkers with a gift? Find suggestions for every budget, as well as ideas for those who'd prefer to make something themselves. And if you're not into gifts or work with a minimalist clan, you can gift your time; let's say you're dynamite in front of an audience, you could give a coaching session on public speaking, or, if you're certified in something (like yoga or fitness, for example) teach a class.
Check Santa's list: The 36 Best Secret Santa Gifts for Coworkers at Every Price Point
If all else fails, beat boredom on the individual level with these 50 suggestions that aren't exactly fun in the traditional sense, but will get you ahead at work.
Nina Semczuk, Head of SEO Content at Fairygodboss, is all about changing things up at the office to keep boredom (and complacency!) at bay.