It’s no secret that companies with happy team members are more likely to be successful than companies filled with stressed employees. According to a study by San Francisco State University, creative hobbies help improve problem-solving skills, give you new perspectives and enable faster recovery from the long hours at work. In fact, researchers have found that creative activities can actually improve job performance by 15% to 30%. It’s not surprising why companies have started focusing on improving employee engagement and creating a happy workplace.
One of the most effective ways to achieve employee happiness is to facilitate their hobbies. Hobbies can help employees be more productive at work and advance their careers faster.
Here are 3 ways hobbies can help you attain high employee happiness levels in your company.
1. They boost employee morale
A low employee morale can be dangerous to your organization. It can negatively impact the work culture, decrease collaboration and even affect the ways your customers are treated.
One of the main benefits of supporting employee hobbies is that it provides a huge boost in morale, and motivates them to perform better. After dealing with stress-filled tasks all day, employees need a way to unwind, refresh and relax. That’s one of the reasons why modern offices are equipped with better break rooms which offer free coffee, games, televisions and comfortable seating.
You can immediately see the impact of facilitating employee hobbies at your workplace. It leads to a more relaxed work environment, improves team bonding and even helps diffuse the tension. For example, playing a game of pool with your team members can be a great way to take a break while casually discussing about your work, without the pressures faced during team meetings.
Such benefits only amplify further when you also get the top- & mid-level management involved in hobby-related activities, especially when they share the same hobbies as other members of your company.
The first thing you need to do is to know every employee’s hobby, by distributing surveys/questionnaire asking about their interests. You can ask questions such as:
- What are your hobbies?
- Favorite sport?
- Favorite game?
- What causes do you care about?
Once you’ve learnt everyone’s hobbies, you can work towards organizing popular hobby-related activities that will bring your coworkers together. For example, if you find that most of your employees follow soccer, then organize a soccer match for your team. If you find that majority of them are passionate about social causes, then organize a beach clean up drive.
2. They enable better Time Management
Studies have shown that employees who have hobbies are better at managing their time. This is because the hobby acts as a reward for working efficiently, as it would mean that they would have more time for their leisure activities that they love so much.
Again, your organization can play an important role in supporting employees’ hobbies. For example, you can help employees to form a book club at work, that allows all book lovers in your company to meet every week and discuss the books that they have read and express their opinions, likes, dislikes, etc. This will motivate your employees to get things done faster, to make time for their hobbies.
Such time management will naturally lead to better productivity too. Your employees will get better at prioritizing their tasks so that they complete everything in time before the next book club meeting.
3. More energy at work
Certain hobbies like jogging, cycling, running obviously lead to a healthier lifestyle. They enable employees to maintain high energy levels and improve stamina, both of which are required to build a great career.
These are the kind of hobbies that companies need to support to motivate their employees to enhance their lives. For example, you can encourage people to bike or jog to work by setting up a shower at work where employees can freshen up after cycling or jogging to work. You can even have an on-site gym that allows employees to work out after a hard day.
Even if you don’t have the resources to build such facilities, there are many simple ways to support your employees’ hobbies. For example, if there’s a marathon in your city, let your employees know about it, and encourage your team to be present at the venue to cheer for your runners. If many of them like outdoor activities, then organize a weekend trek or a camping trip. On Monday morning, you’ll find your employees to be rejuvenated and your office to be a beehive of activity.
As you can see, hobbies can really help employees do better at work. In fact, most of these ideas are cost-effective. All it takes is the willingness to proactively support your employees’ passion & leisure activities to achieve a high level of happiness among your workforce.