It’s mid-April and the snow is falling outside here in VT. “What are you looking for in there?” That’s my husband’s question as I am searching through my closet looking for my Hawaiian Shirt. “I saw sunshine and nearly 60 degrees in the weekend forecast; so I sent an email that tomorrow is ‘wear your Hawaiian Shirt to work day.’”He grins and kind of rolls his eyes; BUT secretly he’s wishing that someone where he works would be a point person for FUN in the office. (Honestly Hallam-ICS has several point people for having fun; being an extrovert in an office full of introverts, I am the most obvious.)
Why do you need fun at work? Working 40 hours per week means you weekly spend 35% of your time awake at work. That’s 1/3 of your time…life… There are several studies that fun at work improves employee performance and health. Having fun at work has shown that it revitalizes and motivates employees, increases productivity and decreases stress. And if you are looking to retain good employees then remember that instilling fun into the work environment produces a higher rate of job satisfaction.
How does Hallam-ICS have fun at work?
Casual Dress Friday is popular. And one Friday each month we have a company lunch. Sometimes people get their lunches and gather in the conference rooms for relaxation and conversation. Sometimes they grab lunch and push on the project they are working on back at their desk. Doesn’t seem like fun but had the company not provided lunch, they might not have stopped for that small break to grab lunch, refuel and destress by talking to their co-worker in the line for lunch.
Fun competitions/drawings like the one mentioned at the start of this article add some fun to work. Some folks just wear a Hawaiian shirt.Others hang up some bling in their cubes, wear flip flop jewelry or dig through their closet to find an outfit that gives the “Hawaiian Shirt Feel” so that they can enter the drawing to win a $25 Gift Card. This is a great way for ALL of the branches of our company to participate in the same competition.
We have company-wide gatherings where all of our branch offices come together for a day. (Did you know we have offices in 5 different states?) We used to have them once a year. But as we are growing that seems to be changing to biennially. It’s a time to meet the newbies face to face and have some time to get to know each other. Recently we have broken into groups formed by our choosing an activity for the day; but the company has also had years where we have broken into groups and gone out into the community to do volunteer work for the day.
We have quarterly company meetings. Keith Flaherty; our CEO, meets with the entire company and we discuss how the past quarter went and where we are headed next quarter/year/future in all regions and areas of the company. The meeting also includes information from the last Quarterly Board of Directors Meeting.
Where we have been as a company and where we are going. Hallam-ICS has learned a lot over our 37+ years in business. Often reminding ourselves of where we came from and why our founder started the company so that we can continue to be successful. This year we are having our first Alumni Event. This promises to be a celebration of all of those people from our past who contributed to where we are now. I am looking forward to seeing some of those familiar faces from the earlier years and catching up.
We believe in stewardship. Someone has to be at the wheel prepping for our future the next generation. The next generation of our business will be our future employees and community. So being involved in our community is another way we can have fun. This past spring we participated in the Howard Center Curling Challenge. Hallam-ICS also established the Hallam-ICS Community Service Award. Each year an organization from each of our office regions that supports the needs of children and families is selected to receive this award created in honor of our founder, Dave Hallam, and is provided a plaque and a donation of $5,000 to each selected organization.
These are some of the many ways we have fun at Hallam-ICS. I hope someone where you work will ask you to play and help you to be a happier, healthier and more productive employee.
“We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” -George Bernard Shaw
About the author
Annette has left Hallam-ICS to pursue other endeavors, but her contributions to the company continue to be valued.
Hallam-ICS is an engineering and automation company that designs MEP systems for facilities and plants, engineers control and automation solutions, and ensures safety and regulatory compliance through arc flash studies, commissioning, and validation. Our offices are located in Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, Vermont and North Carolina and our projects take us world-wide.