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Making Work Fun, Boosting Productivity

C.S. Clarke, Ph.D.

Employees and managers, arise and prevent the stifling of your workplace. Insist on positivity and downright fun! Claim your right to enjoyable productivity!

In the movie Groundhog Day, the main character, Phil (Bill Murray) asks, "What would you do if you were stuck in one place, and every day was exactly the same and nothing that you did mattered?"

Great numbers of people see their lives that way. Even worse, they only way they see change is when something unfortunate happens and throws their predictable lives into seeming chaos. Predictability, then, seems better, so they keep the same-old, same-old in their everyday lives on purpose.

If you don't experience this yourself, you doubtlessly know plenty of people who do. And, in general, you find them in your workplace, especially because the workplace is designed to foster structure and predictability.

Put together the glum outlook of "stuck" people with the organization needed in the workplace, and you'll end up with inflexibility and stifling conventions of behavior. That makes employees dispirited and less productive.

Many studies have shown that the more positive and engaged the employee, the more productive. It's only good sense to prevent both management and employees from becoming stuck in humdrum repetition of the same day, every day. Or repair the "spirit" of a workplace that's become that way.

Introducing management-supported fun into the workplace is essential to making the workplace a more interesting and engaging place. It doesn't matter if the work itself is boring and predictable. What matters is that the actual "worklife" is stimulating and creates some enthusiasm for being on the job and working at it -- for a company the employees enjoy and appreciate.

Start your company's "fun initiative" by looking at what other companies have done to enliven their atmospheres. If you can afford it, find out about organizations and consultants you can hire to help you establish a new, more fun workplace atmosphere. If you can't afford outside help, there are articles, websites and books that are designed to aid you in preventing or banishing the workplace "glums."

Here are some website links to give you ideas.

Fun At Work Company -- -- A company in the U.K. that brings the fun into your organization. Very expensive and not for the U.S. But they have lots of ideas that you could adapt to a smaller, more affordable scale and try on your own.

Playfair -- -- A company you can hire to educate you in creating fun in your workplace. U.S. based. Website has articles and ideas for creating fun on your own and why to do it. Also has a bookstore with several books dedicated to making fun in the workplace.

Work Happy Now -- -- This link is to a specific page of this blog that is a post on office fun. The site is about being happy at work in general. Well worth the read.

The Fun at Work Café -- -- This zany, tongue-in-cheek site is filled with articles obviously written to promote the author's books on enjoying your work. Read it to see if you think you might enjoy his books. You'll get a good laugh whether you go for his books or not.

Office Playground -- -- And, speaking of zany, here's a site that has office "toys" to amuse you and cheer you up. You won't learn anything new from the site, but you might find something fun to put on your desk. (And no, they don't have an affiliate program and I'm not trying to get you to buy something.)

Here are some book suggestions to give you more ideas. (You'll notice I just clipped in's product descriptions to save some writing time. They're much more succinct than I tend to be.)

Fun Works: Creating Places Where People Love to Work by Leslie Yerkes

Yerkes offers tips, examples, and motivation to help readers, their coworkers, and their customers unleash the power of fun in the workplace. Through real-life case studies and interviews with dozens of leading authors and everyday people, the author illustrates 11 principles of what she calls "The Work/Fun Fusion".

Enjoy!: 101 Ways to Add Fun to Your Work Every Day by Gini Graham Scott

As an expert in personal and professional development, Gini Graham Scott has helped people all over the world find more enjoyment in their work and personal lives. In "Enjoy!" she shares her secrets for finding and creating more fulfillment at the office. Using examples from her workshops and interviews with psychologists and recreation professionals, she shows how to relieve stress, anxiety, and tedium from everyday life.

Managing to Have Fun: How Fun at Work Can Motivate Your Employees, Inspire Your Coworkers, and Boost Your Bottom Line by Matt Weinstein

Well, the title says it all. Filled with stories and suggestions to bring more motivation, inspiration, and productivity to your organization through workplace fun.

301 Ways to Have Fun at Work by Dave Hemsath and Leslie Yerke

Dave Hemsath and Leslie Yerkes have long believed that work need not be bland and boring, and that a fun workplace is truly more productive than a dull one. To check their theory, they asked successful businesspeople worldwide if fun played a part in their corporate culture--and, if so, how it was actually manifested in everyday life. 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work is their lighthearted compendium of the most useful and creative replies.



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