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Having fun at work – for real

150 150 Matthew Doig


In my last contribution, I talked about how important it is that we take some responsibility to create a positive work environment where our staff will be able to be motivated and achieve their full potential. I wanted to add one more important concept to the mix – Fun!

I can already feel the eyebrows being raised at the mere mention of this word. “What has “fun” got to do with work?” “This is a workplace not an amusement parlor; if people want to have fun they need to do it seek it somewhere else!” Well I can’t talk about motivation without mentioning the F word, because there are people out there who really do have fun at work and they tend to be very productive employees to boot! Look up a dictionary and you will probably see words like enjoyment, amusement and pleasure used to define fun. So why wouldn’t we want our employees to enjoy their work, find moments of amusement and be pleased with what they have achieved?

Of course, I’m not suggesting that there are not times when staff need to be deadly serious in terms of what they are doing and this obviously inspires confidence in many. By the same token however, happy staff who give off the vibe of really enjoying themselves is a great look for our organisation and by extension the people it deals with.

So, what can we do to make the workplace fun? Here are some suggestions:

  • Define what is funny about your workplace and what people can have a laugh about. This obviously means setting some clear boundaries so that fun is not had at other people’s expense.
  • Make meetings livelier by encouraging people to bring in something that other people will enjoy. Get started with an icebreaker that gets people laughing.
  • Get staff to make suggestions as to what kinds of things will make a fun workplace and take these seriously.
  • Create a fun space where staff can put up things that are amusing or which contains space for activities which staff can get involved in to take some of the pressure out of the day.
  • Make an effort to build positions within which staff have an opportunity to have fun.  Are there certain tasks, which when carried out, will bring enjoyment?

There are many other things that we can do to make the workplace fun, and I encourage you to think about them in a practical sense. After all this fun talk however, a word of warning. Not everyone will have or find fun in the same way so any effort to make work fun needs to be consultative and really make an effort to appeal across the workforce. A focus on fun is, in the end, not a frivolous pursuit at all, but another way to build enthusiasm and commitment which will help your organisation achieve its goals.