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Why Fun at work should be your first priority

As the eldest of four children, I was always inspired by my father’s work ethic. He was so disciplined in getting up early and going to work, and he always came home tired but happy. Dad was great at his job, and he steadily climbed the corporate ladder through hard work and dedication. Dad wasn’t just working hard at his job – he was also working hard to put food on the table for us – my dad was my superhero!

For many years I aspired to be just like my dad and even started my first business as a young boy selling sweets in the schoolyard. I went on to start numerous successful businesses proud to be just like my dad.

It was after becoming a parent however that I reflected and realised something about Dad’s work that would change the way I thought about my own career and work-life in general. I learnt that my dad actually didn’t enjoy his job. He would come home exhausted every day and his team were constantly stressed out and under pressure.. It made me wonder…what was missing from his career that made going to work a chore and not a privilege?

I discovered the real reason had nothing to do with the actual work itself, but rather the company culture. His workplace was very competitive and cutthroat, and there was no room for fun or enjoyment.

I decided that I wanted to live a life where going to work was something I look forward to each and every day and I even built a business based on this concept. Ever since I have dedicated my career to helping others find the fun in their work lives and develop fun work cultures.

Fast forward to the present day and I can honestly say, “I love my job!” I get to help people have fun and look forward to waking up to go to work. I mean, who wouldn’t want to come to work and make people happy through the power of play? And I’m not just talking about team games, I’m talking about having a genuine impact on people’s happiness at work and pushing teams to be the best they can be… How lucky am I!

Fun and play is about incorporating tasks, processes and activities into the workplace that put smiles on the faces of staff, creates some laughter and generates a positive vibe. It’s about making work something people enjoy doing.

When I say ‘fun’ and the term ‘play’ in the workplace, I am not suggesting for your staff to ‘mess around’ and lose sight of what your business goals and objectives are. I’m also not suggesting that every task we do at work will be fun, but in essence, imagine looking forward to and being positive about going to work each day.

As my career progressed I realised I wasn’t the only one that felt this way. Thanks to recent scientific discoveries, we now know that fun at work is actually a powerful tool for boosting productivity and creativity.

In fact, many high-performing teams belong to organisations that prioritise fun. Google is a great example – their offices are known for their bright colours and playful designs. And it’s not just Google – companies like Amazon and Zappos also put a lot of emphasis on fun in the workplace.

So why is fun in the workplace so important? Let’s take a look at 10 reasons:

Fun in the workplace boosts morale and motivation

When employees are happy and engaged, they are more productive. A fun workplace boosts morale and increases motivation as people feel appreciated and valued.

Fun fosters creativity and innovation

In a fun workplace, employees feel more comfortable taking risks and thinking outside the box. This leads to greater creativity and innovation.

Fun reduces stress

A little bit of fun can go a long way in reducing stress levels in the workplace. When staff feel less stressed, they’re able to think more clearly and be more productive.  A study conducted by the University of Warwick found that employees who had fun at work were more likely to stay with their company and less likely to experience work-related stress.

Fun builds team spirit

When staff enjoy working together, it builds team spirit and camaraderie. This makes for a more enjoyable workplace and a more productive team.

Fun improves customer satisfaction

When employees are happy, they’re more likely to provide great customer service. This leads to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty. One study found that happy employees resulted in a 12% increase in customer satisfaction. Furthermore, happy employees led to a 20% increase in sales.

Fun attracts and retains top talent

The best and brightest employees want to work somewhere where they can have fun. A fun workplace is more likely to attract and retain top talent.  A study by the Society for Human Resource Management found that nearly two-thirds of employees said they would leave their job for a position at a company that was more fun. The study also found that employees who have fun at work are more productive, have higher job satisfaction, and are more likely to stay with their company.

Two-thirds of employees said they would leave their job for a position at a company that was more fun.

 

– A study by the Society for Human Resource Management

Fun boosts profitability

A fun workplace is more productive, which leads to improved profits. Studies have shown that companies with happy employees are up to 3 times more profitable than those with unhappy employees.

Fun enhances learning and memory

In a fun environment, people are more engaged and open to learning new things. This enhances learning and memory, and helps employees to be more productive.

Fun improves physical health

A study by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health found that employees who had fun at work were more likely to exercise, resulting in improved physical health. This can lead to reduced absenteeism and healthcare costs.

Fun makes people happy!

Last but not least, fun simply makes people happy. And when people are happy, they’re more likely to be satisfied with their jobs and stay with their company for the long haul.

Having fun at work is important for a variety of reasons. It boosts morale, motivation, creativity, productivity, profitability, and overall happiness. Most importantly, fun in the workplace improves quality of life for ourselves and those around us. So if you’re not having fun at work, maybe it’s time to make a change!

 

I believe success is created though positive fun team cultures. My passion is to help organisations achieve this through delivering unique and rewarding events, corporate training and team experiences that leave a lasting happiness.

 

Dwain Richardson, Managing Director, Corporate Challenge Events