The Latest Thing Since Dress-Down Fridays

Some companies are doing more than talking about how much fun they are to work for: They're having fun! "Fun days" are the the latest thing to come along since dress-down Fridays. Joanne Brooks, president of Creative Impact Group, a production company in Deerfield, Ill., says these end-of-the-week events, which promote teamwork as well as relaxation, are in high demand, especially among fast-paced companies where 60-hour-plus work weeks are the norm.

One of the most popular fun days CIG has run was a scavenger hunt that ultimately brought employees of a Fortune 1000 company to the counters of Nordstroms. Others have used CIG's customized game shows, including one modeled after television's "Who Wants to be a Millionaire."

The name of the game at a recent fun day for ShopTalk, a Chicago Ill.based dot-com start-up with 70 employees, was a hybrid mix of "Name That Tune," Trivial Pursuits, and 20 Questions. The event brought together the company's VPs, a group ranging in age from under 30 on up, to get to know each other better and work more effectively as a team. Only insiders knew how to answer some of the questions, including silly ones such as "What's our president's favorite pair of pants?"

According to Brooks, this mix of fun and teamwork makes employees more productive. "Everyone achieves more when you give them not only relief, but enjoyment."