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Four Tips to Foster a More Fulfilling Office Atmosphere

Making your workforce feel like a team is tougher than it sounds. Some lighthearted competition and networking can help.

If employees are satisfied at work, chances are they will be more productive and stay with the company for a longer period of time. Fortunately for those small and mid-sized businesses (SMBs) that have a hard time competing with deep-pocketed enterprises, salary and perks are not the only ways to keep worker happy.Rewarding relationships and positive experiences also carry great emotional value for employees.

When people can work and play together collaboratively, they feel as if they are part of a team. That emotional, intellectual, and professional fulfillment has a huge impact on both the employee’s satisfaction and the company’s output.

Here are some ways to encourage regular, positive, productive, and even fun interactions between coworkers—including those who might not normally get to interact, such as remote workers.

Email-based contests or trivia games. Everyone is connected via email these days, and who doesn’t enjoy a good round of trivia? These can be for individuals or teams, and can be related to the business or not. The idea is to give people a mini break from work and a chance to show off their knowledge or learn something new. Putting these out regularly can also help give you an idea of which remote workers are attentive and online, and let the team interact in real time despite geographical location.

Online competitions. The idea of competing for something—whether for reward, recognition, or the simple satisfaction of accomplishment—appeals to many. Creating an online competition can yield both direct and indirect benefits for the company, too. A contest to create of the most innovative new product, judged by a company-wide vote, has business benefits in mind. For something less profit-motivated, encourage your employees to complete online training courses, with the highest scores earning public kudos or prizes. This can help your workforce branch out, learn new skills, and increase their presence in their community.

Employee resource groups (ERGs) or business network groups.  People like to gather with other like-minded individuals in the organization, and ERGs give them a chance to do that. These are groups of employees who join together in the workplace based on shared characteristics or life experiences. They can be used for providing support, sharing best practices, enhancing career development, and contributing to personal development in the work environment. Such groups can also engage in community volunteer efforts such as food or blood drives and can help foster workplace wellness initiatives.

Health and fitness programs. Individuals and companies have become much more aware of the need for physical fitness during work hours, bolstered by reports about the importance of movement for people who have desk jobs. With the availability of wearable fitness tracking devices like Fitbit and apps like MyFitnessPal, employees can keep track of steps, calorie burns, heart rate, and other health and fitness data. And companies can reward employees or departments for achieving fitness goals.

Every little bit helps in building a more engaging, enjoyable, and healthy office environment, including the office itself and the equipment it utilizes. To extend your philosophy of enriching communication through every part of the company and foster an atmosphere that’s conducive to collaboration, make sure you have the most reliable and advanced office equipment on board.

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