Fun = engagement. Are you having fun at work?

Almost always after a long day or busy week at Marana Consulting Group (Marana), there will be a text message or a question at the end of a conversation with Sarah, “are you having fun?” 

Even after two years now and the regular “are you having fun?” check in, I still stop, pause, and reflect – am I having fun – what does it mean to have fun at work?

Fun at work can have different meanings for different people. It can range from having a relaxed and positive work environment to engaging in activities that promote creativity and social interaction among team members. For some, it may mean having a sense of purpose and fulfilment in their work, while for others it may mean being able to have a good laugh and not take themselves too seriously. According to the Six Seconds Team Vitality Report 2022, measuring employee engagement is important because it can provide insight into an employee’s level of fun and job satisfaction. When it comes to creating fun in the workplace “Companies often conflate and confuse the material markers with human experience. Toys and perks are things; joy is an emotion.” The report goes on to make the following important points:

  • Teams that experience joy are more than 10 x as likely to be high achieving and satisfied with their work. This correlation between enjoying work and performance was revealed under the stress of the Covid-19 pandemic. It is even more important for teams to prioritise joy. Since 2019, this correlation between JOY and RESULTS / SATISFACTION has become stronger every year.
  • Joy is one of the pulse points for effective teamwork because joy is an emotional signal of high energy and opportunity.
  • It means People Leaders are required to gain new awareness and skill in focusing on people’s moods. It’s another reason leading companies equip managers with emotional intelligence skills. Top performing leaders know to ensure every team includes people passionate about the work at hand, and not just those with technical expertise.
  • The newest neuroscientific research reveals that anxiety, frustration and boredom drive our brains to produce chemicals that reduce key capabilities to reflect and create meaning. This reduces our thinking potential.

Regardless of the specific definition, having fun at work can contribute to increased motivation, productivity, and overall job satisfaction. It can help to reduce stress and create a positive workplace culture where individuals feel valued and supported.

Employers can play a significant role in promoting fun at work by providing opportunities for social interaction, recognising and celebrating achievements, and encouraging creativity and innovation. However, it is also important for individuals to take ownership of their own happiness and find ways to incorporate fun and joy into their daily work routine. Right image: Marana Fun Day – Holy Moly Golf February 2023

To create fun at work, there are several things that individuals and teams can do. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Celebrate milestones and achievements. Recognise and celebrate team successes and individual achievements. This can be done through small gestures like a shout-out in a team meeting or a group lunch or face-to-face collaborative event.
  • Incorporate play into the workday. Incorporate games or other fun activities into the workday to break up the monotony and boost creativity. This can include things like team-building exercises or brainstorming sessions. Support knowledge transfer in the form of a fun quiz.
  • Collaborate with colleagues. Collaborate with colleagues on projects and initiatives that interest you. This can create a sense of camaraderie and shared purpose that can be fun and rewarding.
  • Encourage social interaction. This can be in the form of a team event, birthday celebration, cultural celebration or a morning tea in the office in honour of a charity.

Overall, creating fun at work can help to foster a positive work environment that is conducive to individual and team success. So, take a moment to reflect on how you can bring more joy and positivity into your workday, and don’t be afraid to try something new or different to make work more enjoyable for yourself and those around you.


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