New research from online staff management platform BrightHR claims that workers would be more productive and successful if companies scrapped their office parties and instead focused on increasing happiness and engagement in the office for the rest of the year.
The study, by BrightHR and leading wellbeing at work expert Professor Sir Cary Cooper, found companies which provided fun in the office all year around - such as Xbox games, karaoke and luxury massages - were more likely to have a productive, creative and engaged team.
It Pays to Play, a study of 2000 employees in the UK, found nearly a quarter enjoyed office parties and socials, with the office Christmas party being an annual highlight.
But according to Bright HR, companies today put too much emphasis on the party at the end of the year - arguing social gatherings should be a frequent and regular part of working life for a more sustained work force.
Workers currently taking part in fun activities in their organisation were “significantly more likely” to have had greater psychological well-being and better health in the last three months than those who didn’t.
Co-founder Paul Harris of BrightHR, said: “This is a really interesting statistic which highlights even more clearly that work fun shouldn’t be held back to the end of the year.
“If play and fun at work is the best way to engage with your staff then party with them 365 days a year. Little and often is going have a far more positive impact on office moral and engagement.
“Fun doesn’t have to cost a lot. It doesn't have be a big boozy night out. It could simply be laughing with colleagues, celebrating office birthdays, dress down Fridays or enjoying work related tasks. If an employee feels valued and engaged all year round they are going to not only want to come back to work in January after the festive break, but look forward to it.”
Supporting the decision to maintain social engagement 365 days a year and not just at Christmas time, psychologist Professor Sir Cary Cooper, said: “It’s important to remember introducing fun in the workplace isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
“Positive emotions are driven by different factors for different people. While men prefer computer games, for instance, women want a more social orientation. Fun is a really personal thing, and, generally speaking, people don’t have very high expectations about what employers should provide.
“Instead, it’s more about employers and managers giving their teams permission to take the lead and initiate play all year round.”
BrightHR is a people management software company providing companies with solutions to effortlessly implement HR admin processes, from approving holidays, logging sickness and tracking lateness, through to running reports and document management whilst also providing access to specialist expert knowledge on topics ranging from employment law to happiness in the workplace.