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Get More Business Results by Having a Little Fun

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Do you think it's appropriate or professional to have fun in the workplace?

Research has shown that fun at work generally results in an increase of productivity, creativity, loyalty, and morale. Appropriate workplace fun is a key method for energizing workers and putting some life back into their routines.

Here are some additional benefits of having fun at work:

  1. Fun fulfils the basic human need to be social
     
  2. Fun can install a sense of teamwork
     
  3. Fun usually improves communication
     
  4. Fun breaks up boredom that comes from doing repetitive work
     
  5. Fun can dissolve conflict and tension
     
  6. Fun can foster a positive company culture
     
  7. Fun creates an opportunity for networking

The best type of workplace fun creates congratulations and "high fives" among co-workers. It might be a non-competitive ice breaker event scheduled in the office before a company meeting. Or it could be a sporting event that takes place after work with departmental teams that compete at the bowling alley or on the ball field. Lots of different activities can teach employees how working as a team can be fun as well as productive.

Social interaction among co-workers allows for an opportunity to improve one's "Soft Skills", or people skills. Soft skills are the compliment to Hard skills, which are the technical requirements of a job.

When having fun, we get to see our co-workers and managers in a more casual light. This glimpse into their non-business personality may make them seem more human and foster an improved, genuine relationship.

Matt Weinstein, author of the book, Managing to Have Fun, says that many bosses and entrepreneurs find it difficult to have fun at work. He feels they need to learn how to build more fun into the workday and to celebrate successes. If that doesn't happen, Weinstein warns that bosses can drive away the top employees who are responsible for those company successes.

But management can't just mandate that everyone else celebrate and enjoy themselves. The boss must participate, especially in smaller companies. Top management always sets the tone for the entire company, so if their fun isn't genuine or sincere it'll be obvious to everyone else.

Let's be clear that the following behaviour should not be considered fun:

Telling inappropriate jokes

Being deceptive or playing pranks

Making fun of or teasing co-workers

Mocking or mimicking management

Play that intentionally excludes someone

Having fun at work should result in a renewed feeling of cooperation and a shared mission. If it doesn't accomplish this goal, in my opinion it's not a good use of company time and resources.

"A smile is the shortest distance between people." Victor Borge (1909-2000)


About the Author

Laura Adams is the host of the popular MBA Working Girl Podcast. The content combines brainy business school theory with real-world business practice from her career as a business owner, manager, consultant and trainer. Subscribe for FREE to this top-rated show and get the useful MBA Essential Tip at http://www.mbaworkinggirl.com


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Article Published/Sorted/Amended on Scopulus 2007-10-01 18:25:40 in Employee Articles

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