Why it’s important to have fun at work

Growing up in a household as the eldest of four children, I was inspired by my father’s work ethic and how successful he was in his profession.

He was so disciplined in being up by 6am, off to work by 7am and then home around 12 hours later for family time.

Dad was great at his job, received regular promotions and bit-by-bit climbed his corporate ladder.  Nothing wrong with that - a man successful in his career being a great provider for his family at home.

Some years later I discovered something about Dad’s work life that was to change the way I thought about my career and work life in general.

He did not enjoy his job! He did not have fun at work! Whilst he was still committed to his job and was very good at it, he didn’t really enjoy it.

How many of you are in a similar situation or know someone like this?

Now think of it this way. We spend so much of our lives working, why not enjoy this time!

The thought of not enjoying this time seems crazy to me.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not suggesting that every task we do at work will be fun, but in essence, imagine looking forward to and being positive about going to work each day.

So how can fun and enjoyment be embraced in the workplace?

A vital ingredient is generating a fun work culture!

Ever since I made my commitment to enjoying my work life, I have dedicated my career to helping others find the fun in their work lives and develop fun work cultures.

When I say ‘fun’ and the term ‘play’ in the workplace, I am not suggesting for your staff to ‘mess around’ and lose sight of what your business goals and objectives are.

‘Fun’ and ‘play’ is about incorporating tasks, processes and activities into the workplace that put smiles on the faces of staff, creates some laughter and generates a positive vibe.

I have found a great place to start in generating ‘fun’ and ‘play’ is having regular...

Games and Competitions

Weekly, monthly or annual competitions with prizes can create some friendly rivalry and also lift performance and productivity. These may range from a game to achieve business targets to participating in a staff footy tipping competition.

Team Gatherings

Regular occasions for the team to come together will help everyone learn, understand and appreciate each other. This may include birthday activities, team building events, professional development days and milestone celebrations.

It is important also to consult with your team in deciding what games and team events to stage. Find out what they enjoy and what motivates them and witness the positivity emerge!

By bringing fun into your workplace, whether it’s by a regular social club gathering or a game to see which team displays their weekly results in the most creative fashion, there will be a number of benefits for the business.

Here is what I have seen as four key results of workplace fun:

  1. Productivity

Today's fast-paced world is demanding more from all of us. Managers and business owners are asking more of people and it is well documented that happier people are more efficient. 

  1. Engagement

If you are having fun with a task, you are more engaged with that task. Finding ways to help your team have fun will develop greater focus and thus better outcomes. 

  1. Creativity

In this business world of rapid change, organisational agility is becoming increasingly more important. A relaxed and enjoyable environment is more conducive to generating new ideas and clearer thinking. 

  1. Teamwork

If you are having fun surrounded by people who you enjoy being around, you will deliver better results. Teams that play together, succeed together!

I believe "positive team cultures create success".  So don’t look at fun and play in the workplace as wasting time. It will create a winning culture and ultimately an enjoyable place to live our work lives.

Dwain Richardson, Managing Director, Corporate Challenge Events

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