Why do you work? To earn money, to self-actualize yourself, to find meanings, to gain more knowledge and experiences, or simply to be you? Whatever that is, don’t ever let what you’re doing obstructs you to have fun. I know lots of companies and organizations offer their employees such ‘fun workplaces’ with various facilities (game-center, nap-room, free-flow foods, a fancy kitchen, etc.) and other employee-focused programs; which is good. But no matter how the companies / organizations provide stuffs for you – the ‘fun’ energy is actually coming from yourself – from the inside out.
I recently had such interactions with groups of people in an organization with a huge aim to help people with a better system. People there worked so hard, day and night, to make their goals come true. Yet when I met and had interactions with them, I knew something was missing: the ‘fun’ element. As people worked so hard, they somehow focused too much on the things they’re doing – but less concerned with people’s being around them; they somehow easily blame each other, quickly burnout, which led to such a negative tone of workplace. It’s a bit ashamed as they actually are smart and amazing individuals – but ‘trapped’ in a workplace (that provide facilities) with no ‘fun’ element.
I see that the ‘fun’ element is not actually a single function or feeling – but a construction of at least 5 components below:
- Fun element from the business: communicate to your team on how/why your business is important not only for your company, but also to a broader society – and why do the employee need to be part of this importance?
- Fun element from the leadership: be a role model for the employee on how to manage emotions in a tough business / demanding market – to still have a positive mind-set.
- Fun element from the job itself: ensure every individual understand why they need to do their job well, no matter how small it is – not to compare one’s works with other roles, not to easily blame people for mistakes they did (as probably the problem is not in the person, but on the system).
- Fun element from the teammates: maximize the diversity of the workforce in your organization, ensure people are proud with who they are and establish no unfair treatment/discrimination because of their uniqueness.
- Fun element from the office: invest to support employees’ excellent works and positive well-being with designs, tools, and employee programs (it’s quite clear, many tried this already).
Leaders indeed play a significant role in building a fun workplace. When leaders don’t know how to have fun – it impacts the whole organization. When leaders know how to have fun, but don’t want to know other team members’ ways to have fun – could also be problematic. It doesn’t necessarily mean that every way of having fun shall be accommodate by an organization – but the way we add the ‘fun element’ into workplace shall also be well managed.
Yet again, to have fun in the workplace should be started by ensuring ourselves become fun people. Not strongly related to above condition – but I saw somebody posted a quote in Instagram this morning, saying that ‘your energy introduces yourself even before you spoke a word about who you are’. If ‘fun’ is an energy – then people will feel ‘fun’ around you – or coming to your workplace, even before you said to them that you are a fun person / you have a fun workplace. Have a fun weekend!