A little laughter through unexpected jokes like these can reduce stress and build camaraderie. In fact, when flights are delayed, Southwest Airlines encourages its gate agents to hold joke-a-thons and contests for the passengers with the biggest holes in their socks. The resulting laughter is cathartic; it diffuses tension, and keeps people happy and relaxed.
We're not robots; we all need breaks. While Nike's corporate offices have tennis courts, a swimming pool and track fields, the rest of us can create our own forms of recreation in small spaces. Tiny toy breaks are a great way to bring fun to anyone's day. Start a meeting by handing out Silly Putty to the attendees. Or keep a stash of it in a common area. At SillyPutty.com companies can order 100 eggs for about $110, as well as five-pound chucks of it, which can be used as a great conversation starter, icebreaker and stress-reducer.
Other toys to have on hand include Slinkys, Play-Doh, Nerf balls, magnetic darts, and door-hanging basketball hoops.
Competition among colleagues doesn't have to be cutthroat; it can be fun too.
Consulting giant Bain holds a world soccer cup, but you can crown a champion in your workplace in other sports. Paper airplane contests, rounds of wastepaper basketball, or baby photo-guessing games where everyone posts their baby photo on a bulletin board and tries to figure out who's who are free ways to bring fun to your office this week.
Crown the winner of the festivities with an office-made medal crafted from multicolor paper clips or bestow the champion with a certificate for lunch on everyone else.
Tory Johnson has fun at work every day as is the workplace contributor for "Good Morning America" and the CEO of Women For Hire