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eric-foertsch for DealerOn Dev

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Can You Be Productive AND Have Fun at Work?

The workplace has always been the last place you expect to have fun. You are expected to do a job, make the company money, go home, then come back the next day and do it all over again. Sounds pretty bleak, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The modern workplace has evolved a lot over the years, particularly in the tech industry. Open and fluid work-spaces, flexible schedules, employees in all parts of the world with just the internet to link it all together. Despite being attractive to many, separation makes daily interaction with co-workers more difficult. To remedy this, effort must be put in to building a work culture that embraces collaboration and work-ethic but also promotes positivity and fun.

The first point of emphasis is communication. Effective communication is critical in sustaining and growing a business in today’s high-tech world. Strong interpersonal communication between employees, teams, departments and management is the lifeblood of any company. Virtual meeting spaces and chat programs are very effective at allowing in-office and remote employees to interact daily. Even if some or all the employees are remote, face to face interaction helps to build a sense of unity. What better way to foster this unity than with modern day chat applications? The shape that your chat application takes should be nurtured and allowed to grow.

There are many different styles of popular chat applications with similar features, but by far the most popular is Slack. While not offering any unique features, it does have the ability to create custom channels and emoji for any business or personal interest. This customization allows for business related terms to be quickly referenced at a glance. Slack also allows for custom channel integrations for business applications. These customizations allow for personal touches like in company jokes or embarrassing company history that new employees will have to learn. That learning process helps to ingrain into and contribute to the company work culture.

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Competition is another great way of fostering indirect communication between individuals with a shared competing goal. Consider attending events held outside of work. These events offer a unique perspective of your fellow co-workers, perhaps finding shared interests. These real-world interactions are very important for building a solid work culture. There are also plenty of activities during the work day that can bring excitement. Activities such as Foosball, ping pong, darts, quick board games or a match or two of competitive video games. These events should always be optional and subject to managerial discretion: you should not let them affect your productivity during the work day. There are numerous benefits to both competitive and cooperative events. Consider a Foosball tournament or a game of ping pong (with stakes) to relieve stress and build healthy competitive relationships between departments.

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Every office is unique, built by everyone big and small. The more everyone communicates and understands each other the easier it will be for everyone involved. Modern workplaces require more than a bunch of warm bodies showing up daily. Strive to make an impression. Companies like employee engagement as it leads to stronger and more robust teams. Employees enjoy having something to look forward to during their work days. It is a win-win for everyone.

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