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The Fun Police Come To Manchester Offices

Manchester-based wellbeing at work psychologists have warned the city’s employers they need to boost fun in the office...

Manchester-based wellbeing at work psychologists Robertson Cooper have warned the city’s employers they need to boost fun and play in the office if they want a productive and creative workforce.

Manchester may well be thriving economically, but it appears to have come at a price – 45 percent of employees in Manchester claim to have no fun at work. 

“Work is no longer
about getting the
job done and then
going home for
your fun…”

That’s the claim made in ‘It Pays to Play’, a study commissioned by BrightHR, the Manchester people management software company, who teamed up with Robertson Cooper to conduct the research.  

The UK-wide study showed young employees are more motivated by workplace fun than the older workforce and those who enjoy a good belly laugh at work are less likely to skip work with a sickie. Workers born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s are set to make up 75 per cent of the workforce by 2025, and it’s something businesses cannot ignore. 

But in Manchester it appears workers aren’t in a rush to embrace this new office influence, as four in 10 people working in city claimed they wouldn’t want play-time at work even if it was allocated- opting for a traditional work structure. 

Professor Sir Cary Cooper of Manchester Business School claims the shift in attitudes towards fun at work is triggered by graduates and school leavers working longer hours than ever before and seeking fun in their office to ensure they get the most out of their time. 

 “It’s a shame employees in Manchester don’t care as much about fun at work, as it can really improve their wellbeing,” says Professor Cooper.  “Businesses would still be wise to inject more playtime into the workplace as they will benefit from a harder working and more motivated and productive workforce. 

“Work is no longer about getting the job done and then going home for your fun – younger generations want to enjoy their work, too. It could be because we work longer hours, have to wait longer for retirement and have less financial security from work, meaning we need to get some other return for our time investment.”

But it isn’t all doom and gloom, as the research shows that many companies in Manchester are seen to be trying to boost morale. In the last six months, more than a third claimed to have enjoyed celebrating a colleague’s birthday in the office or had a company day out as a form of fun team bonding.

And more than a third believed having fun activity, such as office bake offs and Xboxes at work, would definitely motivate employees to work harder. 

The top five activities Mancunian employees claimed would brighten their work day and make them more productive in the office were: 

1. Dress down Friday (28%)
2. Wellbeing days with massages (18%)
3. Pool Table (16%)
4. Work bake-off (16%)
5. Office Parties and nights out (15%)

“Trust is key,” said BrightHR chief executive officer, Paul Tooth. “If people are trusted to do their work and feel empowered to play and have fun in the workplace, businesses will benefit hugely. Fun doesn’t have to cost a lot. It could simply be laughing with colleagues, celebrating office birthdays or enjoying work related tasks.”


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