Fun Factor in Workplace; Pays to Lighten-Up: Fun Workers are Productive Workers; Build a ‘Great’ Company…

Fun in the workplace really matters: It’s an important business principle… According to Jonathan Fields; when speaking of fun its meaning should not be superficial, such as; ‘let’s have scooter races in the hallway’ (though that’s part of an equation), but much deeper, such as; ‘it makes everyone feel really good’; this type of fun keeps everyone working harder, more productively… hence, when you have fun at work, when your days are driven by fun, it does other massively powerful things, such as:

  • It infects the mood of those you work with and serve, with a similar sense of energy and fun…
  • It infuses the entire organization with energy, making it easier to recruit and keep talented, upbeat employees, and builds a ‘culture’ of fun…
  • It elevates the product/service you provide from a ‘blip’ on the radar to a ‘story’ that must be passed on with zest, creating a source of evangelistic, organic buzz…

According to David Koutsoukis; research shows that having fun in the workplace can significantly improve employees’– attitude, productivity, performance… and that really means: Happy Employees = Happy Customers = Better Bottom Line.

People rarely succeed unless they are having fun in what they are doing… According to Jack Welch; business today is about passion, winning, creating new things… and fun is a big element in many highly successful companies… According to research; the meaning of fun in the workplace depends heavily on diversity of the workplace, for example; millenials tend to like ‘fun’ in the workplace more than members of older generations.

One survey found that up to 88% of millennials want– a fun and social work environment, compared to just 60% of boomers… According to Shana Lebowitz; today’s workplace has a highly diverse cultural environment and making work fun, productive experience for everyone is tricky… Having fun at work is not always appropriate and it certainly does not jive with everyone’s work style…

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 In the article Why Fun at Work Matters by Adrian Gostick and Scott Christopher write: If  employees are having fun, they’re going to work harder, stay longer, and take better care of the organization… An increasing body of research demonstrates that when leaders lighten-up and create a fun workplace, there is significant increase in level of employee trust, creativity, communication– leading to lower turnover, higher morale, stronger bottom line…

However, it’s hard to believe that a warm and fuzzy subject such as; ‘fun’ could impact an organization’s success. But the remarkable case for fun in the workplace is growing with the most convincing numbers culled from more than a decade of research. According to ‘Great Place to Work Institute’; ‘great’ companies consistently earn much higher marks for having ‘fun’… Each year, the ‘Great Place to Work Institute’ asks tens of thousands of employees to rate their experience in their workplace with questions, such as; ‘Is this a fun place to work?’

The Fortune Magazine’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ List is produced by the ‘Great Place to Work Institute’: Employees in companies that are denoted as ‘great’ responded overwhelmingly, an average of 81%, that they are working in a ‘fun’ environment: That’s a compelling statistic… Employees at the best companies are also having the best time. Whereas, at the ‘good’ companies only 62% say they are having fun…

According to Amy Lyman; it’s a question that all companies should be asking their employees because it’s something that happens in great workplaces… In fact, it would be very unusual for a company to be among the ‘100 Best’ and not score well on the ‘fun’ question… In other words, when companies make a leap from ‘good’ to ‘great’ they must start by engaging ‘trust’; one corollary to developing strong bonds of trust is that people are able to also have a great deal of ‘fun’ in the workplace…

fun E1eppoQ4TNb1bS1aF9Sh1jl72eJkfbmt4t8yenImKBXEejxNn4ZJNZ2ss5Ku7CxtIn the article Down with Fun by Economist writes: Many companies are obsessed with ‘fun’, and fun at work is becoming a business in its own right…The cult of ‘fun’ is driven by three of the most popular management fads, namely; ’empowerment’, ‘engagement’ ‘creativity’… Many companies pride themselves on devolving power to front-line workers. But surveys show that only 20% of workers are ‘fully engaged with their job’, and even fewer are creative.

Managers hope that ‘fun’ will magically make workers more engaged and creative, but the problem is, as soon as ‘fun’ becomes part of corporate strategy it ceases to be fun, and becomes its opposite and at best an empty shell and at worst a tiresome imposition… The most unpleasant thing about the fashion for ‘fun’ is that it’s mixed with a large dose of coercion…

Behind the ‘fun’ façade there often lurks some crude management thinking; a desire to brand the company as better than its rivals, or a plan to boost productivity through team-building: If it’s fun, it needn’t be compulsory: Down with the merchants of fake fun…

In the article Have We Lost Ability to Have Fun at Work? by Ian Jones writes: When you work and never play, it seems you are not only dull, but also less productive… Research says; even small amount of consciously-created ‘fun’ at work can make huge difference to productivity and loyalty… According to U.S. National Institute for Play; some believe that play is the opposite of work, yet data shows that playful ways of work lead to more creative, adaptable workers, better teams

According to Therese Joyce; laughter and humor are vital to optimal human functioning; they provide relief from stress, and help you think and respond more creatively… Humor can help to regain a sense of control in your sometimes stressful, challenging surroundings. It gives you energy and builds important social support… Many work in demanding and accountable roles so there needs to be a circuit breaker that restores enjoyment and stimulates creative thinking. Spontaneity and fun should have its place in any workplace…

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In the article Contrived Workplace Fun Backfires by Marika Hill writes: Fun isn’t a one-size-fits-all… According to researchers; asking people what makes a fun workplace revealed some interesting results, e.g.;  just one in five people surveyed enjoyed ‘fun’ events organized by their workplace… According to Dr Barbara Plester; people don’t like being forced to have ‘fun’. So while the boss may have the best intentions, creating a fun workplace is far more complicated than simply hosting a night out for everyone… So what makes a genuinely fun workplace? It’s a workplace that balances 3-types of fun; ‘spontaneous’, ‘managed’, ‘task’…

Of the 3-types of fun; ‘spontaneous’, such as; banter, jokes… is the most common and is driven by the employees themselves. But once you talk about creating it (i.e., managed), it becomes very contrived… The third type and cited as the most important to employees is fun in doing the actual ‘tasks’… This means that for some workers doing their job is enough ‘fun’. These workers don’t want to be dragged away from their ‘tasks’, they just want to be left alone to do the work that they really enjoy… According to Paul Ford; genuine enjoyment and fun at work is more likely to come from a strong company culture, rather than one-off events… It’s when there is an informal but serious work ethic, where you have fun but also work really hard…

It pays to lighten up– you may think it’s hard to measure the return on investment of fun at work but a bevy of successful company leaders attest that fun is an essential component of business strategy… According to Adrian Gostick & Scott Christopher; if they’re laughing, they’re listening; whether you make a presentation to senior management, pitching to a sales prospect, trying to engage employees at a company meeting… great communicators know that a little humor (fun) goes a long way to creating an unforgettable message…

According to Hodge-Cronin & Associates survey of 737 CEOs; 98% preferred job candidates with a sense of humor to those without… Another survey indicated; 84% of executives thought that employees with a sense of humor do better job than employees with little or no sense of humor…

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According to Kathleen Deggelman; having fun in business is a hot topic, and it’s easy to see why; since you are connected all the time, to everything, e.g.; text messaging, smart phones, iPads, laptops, social media, emails… all demanding attention, while trying to do the work that needs to be done… hence, workplaces can become very stressful… but experts says; if you lighten-up and have fun, there is much better chance that you  can  have  a  more– inspiring, engaging, successful workplace… and that drives innovation, team performance…

According to Sam Walton; don’t take yourself so seriously, loosen-up, have fun and everyone around you will also loosen-up, and the workplace becomes much more– engaging, productive… Hence, if you are not having fun, you probably are not working in a successful business; and you probably will never become successful…