After reading a post @NickiLaycoax retweeted, “5 Lessons To Learn From Web Startups,” I RT’d the post adding, “Fun is # 1.” Nicki replied, “I agree!” So I said, “Let’s write a blog together about fun at work!” I suggested I could write about having fun being productive, and she could write about fun things to do at work – obviously, she got the “funner” part. Here’a why fun at work matters. 

Randy’s Less-Funner Part

Workplace fun can be about “getting it done.” Remember when you didn’t study for that exam because you did something “FUN” instead? The next day, with upset stomach and sweaty palms, you tried to fake your way through the test. When you got the grade, it was awful. Remember that? How fun was it? We Homo sapiens need to successfully complete tasks and bask in the glow of accomplishment. Because when we succeed, we feel better about ourselves. It’s certainly more fun. You don’t have to play to have fun at work, but you can. Throw a Frisbee, play a joke, socialize a little… However, you can make the work, itself, play. For example, check out charthouse.com. When you make work fun, it energizes the team, produces endorphins, and stimulates production.

Why Should I Care about Fun at Work ?

More will be accomplished over the long-term in an environment of fun and positive attitudes.
• Increased productivity
• Lowered absenteeism
• Decreased downtime
• Improved job satisfaction leading to employee retention

OK, OK… You said you were gonna tell us how to make work fun.

Pass Out The Accolades

Constantly recognize achievement, activities, and character, and congratulate team members in the presence of their peers. Give recognition to the team, as well. Write a thank you note, send an email, or leave a voicemail. There was a company function where I recognized a teammate’s dependability. His wife called and thanked me. She knew he was dependable, yet no one had ever recognized him. Tell me that wasn’t fun. Do not limit the recognition to results. Because, sometimes recognizing positive activities that do not directly lead to the desired results is more meaningful. They can lead to those or other positive results later.

Involve Everyone, Make Them Part Of The Team

Be the best teammate you can be. You do not have to be best friends, but you should be an understanding teammate. Listen without prejudice, accept idiosyncrasies, solicit ideas, and ask for help. Be a teammate, or boss, people can talk to. Be someone who will listen with an open mind.

Relish & Share the Feeling of Accomplishment When Tasks Are Completed

Once a task has been effectively completed on deadline, take a break, and go to lunch. Bring in lunch, eat cake, buy the beer after work – just have fun. Always congratulate completed tasks, regardless how small.

Create Fun Competition Between Teammates and / or Teams

The key word is “fun.” How about a game show format meeting? Execute a Company Feud, Are you Smarter Than Management, or a Jeopardy format. I’ve conducted a trial, catching a teammate doing things right, using attorneys, prosecutors, a jury, and of course, wearing a black robe. Hold a production contest, and the top producer wins. You don’t need expensive prizes to have fun. The prize can be a certificate created online, lunch with the boss, or an hour off with pay. Find out what motivates the team, and use it.

Give Your Team Direction

Let your team know what they need to do, CAD (Commit-Assign-Deadline). Commit to a goal, assign activities to a team, and set a deadline. Believe it or not, giving direction will make your team more satisfied, especially when they achieve the goal via their actions and their accomplishments are recognized.

What If I Am Not In A Position To Get The Fun Started?

If you are not the leader, share your fun ideas with the leader. If you offer to help, plan, and organize the activities, you may be surprised.