What’s the value in fun and silliness in the workplace?

In looking at what makes a company good to work for, one value for many companies is “having a sense of humour and fun and silliness”. Doesn’t that mean unproductive time? Why have those companies decided that fun is important? Where’s the ROI on fun?

Providing a fun environment increases happiness, lowers stress and increases morale. Happy people are likely to be more productive, more creative, care more about their work, and less likely to be absent.

If people are more relaxed, they’re also more accepting of others, and feel more free to openly communicate. Inhibitions will fade away. They’ll be more flexible. This all contributes to better teams.

Laughter IS the best medicine. It increases endorphins, exhilarating, increases oxygen in the blood, lowers stress, and builds immunity.

Setting up fun occasions cuts across departments, with people getting to know each other who might never do so. That sets up the environment for improved collaboration, for better problem-solving, for generation of ideas.

Appropriate use of jokes and playfulness can ease tensions, to help mindset changes and viewing problems from different perspectives.

It’s in that environment of openness and lightness that people can be their best. The flip-side of that is if it’s all seriousness, then people burn out, can’t communicate freely, shut down into their little worlds, and just do the minimum required.

Professionalism does not equate with seriousness. It’s more than OK to have fun at work.

“Work hard, play hard” really does work. Having “fun and a sense of humour” as part of the company values helps provide the environment for all of the other values to work.

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