It’s hard to break people of that notion that work has to be serious.
It’s as if there is a sign in some office buildings that announces “no fun allowed.” Or, another sign, “all laughter will be subject to immediate disciplinary action”.
I listen to clients talk about their Key Performance Objectives and toothpaste marketing campaigns with the same seriousness as a surgeon talking about a triple by- pass. I see people head to work on the subway as if they are headed to a concentration camp. Think about it. Do you always have to be so bloody serious?
I’d suggest setting up a “fun zone”, but why not make the whole place a “fun zone”?
You spend a lot of time at work, why not make it fun? I’d be willing to bet it won’t hurt your productivity and is more likely to increase it.
What can you do?
There’s a reason why Google gives people free food. I will never forget the look on the other professor’s faces when a colleague brought in a cake for everyone to share. You’d think she had paid for a round-trip flight to Hawaii.
Many companies have casual Fridays or casual dress days. Why not have dress-up Fridays?
These things help, but if you want people to have even more fun on a regular basis, get rid of a bunch of rules.
There’s nothing that can ruin fun more than saying “it’s against the rules” and believing it. There’s nothing like a big fat rule book to damper people’s happiness.
Don’t let your own ideas of how people should behave at work get locked into any rule book.
Give people more freedom and they’ll have a whole lot more fun. You won’t lose them to your competitors either. Think about Southwest Airlines and Zappos, companies that employees and customers love.
I worked with one client who would punish people for making personal calls at work or checking personal email. He’d put a letter in their personnel file documenting this transgression. Talk about treating people like kids! He told me he wanted people to have more fun at work and was looking for a creativity consultant.
“Don’t waste your money”, I told him.
Make it your goal to have fun every day at work.
Today, tomorrow. Every day.Why not?