Our expert’s opinion: “Work smart, play hard” Gen Z shows us a new way of organization and productivity.

3 min read

The idea of writing this article came to me thanks to the young engineers we recruit. I noticed that well-being at work has an increasing importance to them.

They don’t just want to feel productive anymore, they want to feel good at work, and have fun while feeling useful. Rigid, inflexible, and value-free environments are being rejected by many young graduates. If they start to work in companies that do not match their values anyway, they don’t stay there for long.

So how do you attract and keep them?

Today’s competitive and fast-paced world is characterized by rapid change. The traditional idea of work as “hard labor” is becoming increasingly outdated.

Instead, many experts are now advocating for the integration of fun and entertainment into the workplace. Why? To increase productivity and employee satisfaction.

Recent studies show the impact of elements of play on productivity and engagement. The University of Warwick found that happy employees are 12% more productive than their unhappy counterparts. And the University of California saw that employees who have fun at work are more motivated and committed.

Fun at work leads to increased productivity and promotes a positive work environment. Happy employees who enjoy their work are more engaged in their tasks and motivated to achieve their goals. This, in turn, leads to higher levels of productivity and better performance.

Another benefit of fun at work is that it helps to reduce stress and burnout. When employees are under constant pressure, they are more likely to experience burnout and become disengaged from their work.

We see that more and more young people do not stay long in a stressful or negative environment. Managers create a more relaxed and enjoyable work environment when they leave room for fun.

So, what can managers do? Here are a few ideas:

Encourage team-building activities
A company-wide retreat, a team-building exercise, or a simple lunch, … Taking the time to build relationships and bond with coworkers can make the workday more enjoyable.

Implement a flexible work schedule.
For example, the ability to work from home once or twice a week, flexible hours (by example starting between 6 to 9am in the morning and finishing the day between 4pm to 7pm), longer lunch breaks can help reduce stress and increase job satisfaction.

Introduce gamification
Using game-like elements in the workplace can make tasks more engaging and enjoyable.

Encourage creativity
Allowing employees to come up with new ideas can foster a sense of innovation and excitement in the workplace.

In conclusion, incorporating fun and entertainment into the workplace can lead to increased productivity, motivation, and engagement.

As managers, it is important to recognize the importance of creating a positive and enjoyable work environment, and to take steps to make the workday more fun and engaging for employees.

By breaking away from the traditional idea of work as “Work = difficult”, and “be productive at all costs”, we can create a work culture that is not only more productive but also more satisfying and fulfilling for everyone, a good way to attract and keep the young talents.


Written by Basri Pehlivan

Business Manager at Catalay