When was the last time you had FUN at work?

Deborah Wilson

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DW blog image Feb | OnTalent

What makes a successful business? Scalability, the bottom line, an exceptional product or service, people, culture—many factors contribute to a successful organisation.

The Great Resignation has forced many leaders to listen to their people. Without a team, most organisations don’t have a business or, at the very least, cannot operate at full capacity. I speak with a range of people right across the organisational hierarchy. More than ever before, people are seeking a positive work environment. I rarely hear leaders talk about cultivating fun at work. However, fun is a crucial ingredient to any positive environment. When I think back to my favourite roles and workplaces, I don’t necessarily think of late nights and the specifics of those roles at the time. I often think about how much fun I had with the people around me.

Over the last two years and counting, COVID-19 has been looming over us all to some extent. The fear of the unknown, staying safe, contemplating the endless ‘what if’ scenarios… While we must acknowledge that this period has been rough for everyone, some more so than others, I feel like many people have forgotten how to laugh and have a little fun! Do you feel the same way?

It can be hard to laugh when faced with constant fear about a business failing or being stood down, or even let go. It can be hard to laugh when we can’t remember the last time we saw our loved ones. It can be hard to laugh when we feel under financial pressure, and life becomes overwhelming. There are so many things that are genuinely outside of our control.

Leaders control the environment they create for their team—fun at work matters. Leaders, you need to create the fun! If you need a little more convincing, research shows that happy people tend to be healthier, more inspired, productive and satisfied in their roles. Having fun at work is also essential to team bonding and staff retention in the longer term.

How to create fun in the workplace

Sure, fun can be subjective, and the average workplace has a range of personality types. Simple things like celebrating every team member’s birthday or work anniversaries show people they matter. And, who doesn’t love a piece of cake? This also gives people a chance to mingle rather than sit at their desks 24/7. Why not invite your department out to lunch or organise a pub night after work every few months? Have a cook up in the kitchen where everyone pitches in to make lunch. You could play ‘office’ Shark Tank and invite your team to pitch you their grand idea. Or play fun music and watch the mood in the office shift instantly. Happy by Pharrell Williams or ABBA songs are always great choices. If you have a range of age groups in the office, try to select a variety of tunes. I have heard of some offices having: invite your pets to work day!

How to create fun when working remotely

Just because your team is working from home, that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. I’ve heard of workplaces hosting their Christmas parties via Zoom. Everyone grabs their drink of choice and nibbles, and has a chat. Why not host a virtual wellness session? Your team can have a go at group yoga or dancing. You could also host a comedy session online where everyone brings their favourite joke and has a laugh together. At OnTalent, we engage in a lot of these activities and more. I enjoy a belly laugh at least once a day!! As leaders we need to lead by example.

Ask yourself these questions:

•  Am I having fun at work?

•  Am I having fun in my life generally?

Science proves that laughter is great for us. A good belly laugh each day is great medicine! Having fun is an easy way to lighten our mental load. Regardless of what’s going on in your life, tomorrow is a new day. Let’s not take ourselves so seriously. Who’s with me?

Deborah Wilson is a Thought Leader and a Career Strategist. She takes a personalised approach to strategic career coaching and career transitions, mentoring and leadership development. Deborah provides expert guidance for individuals while supporting organisations through change and connecting people and purpose.

Call Deborah on +61 403 779 746.

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