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Missed our Lunchtime Debate on happiness in the workplace? Then watch it on-demand

Could creating a culture of fun be the answer to boosting productivity and innovation?

HR magazine hosted an interactive debate, supported by BrightHR, which brought together experts to discuss whether creating a culture of fun could be the answer to boosting productivity and innovation, easing generational tensions, and increasing retention.

The expert panel included HR's Most Influential Thinker Cary Cooper, professor of organisational psychology and health at Manchester Business School and co-founder of Robertson Cooper; Holiday Extras' associate director of performance and development Carolyne Creed; and BrightHR co-founder Paul Harris.

Cooper suggested a reduced degree of formality in the workplace could improve creativity. "Why should we always have to dress up and wear ties?" he asked. "We need to have more informality in the workplace, and for that trust is the crucial issue. When you have managers who are giving praise and rewards for good jobs, rather than fault finding, it enables people to become creative."

Harris added that freedom leads to innovation. "Creativity is my drive," he said. "We don't want to be average, we don't want to be mediocre, we want to innovate. However, you can't innovate if creativity is stifled. It's really important to create an environment that allows people to have fun but also feel empowered."

Creed highlighted that workplaces are beginning to adapt to the notion of work being fun, albeit slowly. "It is happening, but in baby steps," she said. "We want people to enjoy their time when they are there [at work], but also to be able to take the time out to regenerate.”

To find out more, watch the video on-demand here.