Have fun on the job, but get work done

Winnipeg Free Press - Section H - - FRONT PAGE - COLLEEN COATES

FUN is one of the most un­der­rated busi­ness tools we own. When you cre­ate a fun work­ing en­vi­ron­ment, it leads to happy, loyal and more pro­duc­tive em­ploy­ees as well as an in­no­va­tive or­ga­ni­za­tion that at­tracts new op­por­tu­ni­ties.

It is well doc­u­mented that laugh­ter re­leases en­dor­phins, and that leads to a sense of well-be­ing and op­ti­mism. Now ap­ply this to the work­place as one Cal­i­for­nia re­searcher re­cently did. His study showed that peo­ple who en­joy a lit­tle fun and hu­mour on the job tend to be more creative, are more ef­fec­tive at decision mak­ing and get along bet­ter with oth­ers. These em­ploy­ees also chalk up fewer ab­sent, late and sick days.

Are there risks as­so­ci­ated with hav­ing more fun in the work­place? Sure there are, and they should not be over­looked. The main is­sue is that be­cause ev­ery­one has their own def­i­ni­tion, what may be con­sid­ered fun to one per­son could be de­cid­edly un­fun to an­other. There is also the risk that jokes will get out of hand or cross ap­pro­pri­ate boundaries. It should be clearly spelled out that hu­mour must be free of prej­u­dice, racism or sex­ism and should never hurt the feel­ings or dam­age the char­ac­ter of a fel­low co-worker.

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