The Benefits of Having Fun at Work

Credit: Unsplash

 By Jeff Wolf

Time to read: 1 minute

If people aren’t excited and energized about going to work, things must change. After all, you spend one-third of your time at work. Fun must be part of an organization’s strategy. Look at the list of companies that make fun part of their strategy and culture: Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Disney, Nordstrom, Walmart, Trader Joe’s, and Land’s End. What else do these organizations have in common? They are all very profitable!

I can think of four specific benefits for businesses that encourage fun:

  1. Fun is a healer. When people are having fun, the brain releases chemicals called endorphins, which help heal the body. It reduces absenteeism and helps keep people healthy and happy each day.
  2. Fun breeds creativity and new ideas. As people enjoy their jobs and have fun, they become more creative and imaginative. They begin to think outside the box and don’t fear failure.
  3. Fun helps maintain workplace relations. America has the most diverse workforce in its history. People come to work every day with different cultural backgrounds. We also have a multigenerational workforce: people in their 20s to those in their 60s. And when they’re having fun at work, it breaks down barriers. They enjoy being with each other, can discuss their differences openly, and share new ideas.
  4. When you have fun at work, it makes training and teaching easier. In fact, fun is an excellent teaching tool. Whenever our company holds workshops or conducts training, we make sure to include strategically placed activities that focus on fun. The feedback we always receive is positive. Participants say they learned a lot and had fun doing it!

Having fun at work also impacts the bottom-line: Fun prompts energy levels to rise. Energy is contagious, and productivity soars. As the company enjoys increased productivity, there’s greater innovation. New ideas and concepts take flight, and the bottom line improves considerably.

The first time I flew Southwest Airlines I was amazed by every employees’ high energy and enthusiasm, without exception. All of them were having fun and enjoying their work, from the baggage handlers, reservations agents, and gate attendants, all the way up to and including the pilot. As I waited for my flight, I observed how the employees’ positive attitudes and infectious enthusiasm spread to the passengers. Everyone was smiling, upbeat and having a good time. No wonder Southwest is so profitable.

Jeff Wolf is the author of the international best-seller Seven Disciplines of a Leader. 

A dynamic speaker and highly requested executive coach he was named one of the country’s top 100 thought leaders for his accomplishments in leadership development and managerial effectiveness. 

He may be reached at 858-638-8260 or jeff@wolfmotivation.com.

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