This month, Steve Pickering, the ‘unorthodox’ CEO of fast-growing South East independent bed retail chain Sussex Beds, explains how he encourages staff to have fun in the, erm, workplaice …

A whopping 93,600 is the average number of hours we will spend working throughout our lives. Should they be spent having fun or being miserable?

I’m for fun, and although not officially one of our values, culturally we do have, and encourage, fun at work. Whether that’s within weekly huddles where someone is awarded the Bed-knob of the week for the best gaffe or faux pas (proud to say I have won this multiple times), or through the companywide #social-kudos-news-updates communication channel on Slack, where light-hearted funny observations, stories and interactions take place between the team.

Some examples of this are:

Fish-pun Tuesday

One of our stores reported an enquiry they’d received asking whether they sold fish. An onslaught of fish puns followed (bet he went into the wrong plaice, sounds like eel need to go somewhere else, cod you guys are funny, etc)

Cholesterol Chloe’s review

A great customer review was received commending the helpful, knowledgeable service provided from bed specialist ‘Cholesterol’ (it should have read ‘Chloe’). A typo, autocorrect gone wrong, this tickled the team and prompted a flood of kudos comments congratulating Cholesterol Chloe

The steak debate

A very important discussion kicked off within our back-office team on a dreary Monday afternoon, on the subject of which cut of steak was the best. A majority could not be achieved, and therefore a full company poll was created, and overwhelmingly confirmed ‘fillet’ as the best (I am still not happy with this – for me, it’s ribeye, but that’s democracy for you)

Finally, one of my favourite recently introduced back-office initiatives is Wine-Down Friday. At 16.45, everyone downs tools, stops work and comes together to toast and celebrates the week’s achievements.

What fun initiatives do you do in your workplace? And what’s your favoured steak?

Discover more of Steve’s thoughts on his blog.