But a growing number of individuals and groups insist that work can—and should—be fun. Or if they’re not synonymous, then one can be interjected into the other. Or at least that the two can co-exist harmoniously in the same space. There’s even a national ‘holiday,’ Fun at Work Day, to at least get us all thinking about the ways in which work and fun can fit together.
It seems to us that there could be three broad ways to look at the work-fun equation. One is that some jobs are inherently fun. Second, some jobs occur in workplaces that make fun a deliberate part of work. And third, there are many who believe that there are concrete ways to make virtually any job more fun.
Keep in mind, though, that ‘fun’ is subjective: Working as a cartoon character at Disneyland could be one person’s idea of fun and other’s idea of sheer drudgery. Come to think of it, what we consider ‘work’ can be subjective, too. For these purposes, however, ‘work’ is what we do every day to earn a living.
Jobs that are fun
Think fun, and you may immediately think of making leis in Maui or being an ice cream taster. So you may be surprised to read in Forbes (forbes.com) about the happiest jobs in the U.S. Having conducted more than 100,000 employee interviews over the past couple of years, CareerBliss found that those happiest in their jobs are all over the place, from software engineers to tellers to warehouse managers. This could mean that there’s no such thing as a fun job in the absolute sense: Fun, especially at work, may be only in the eye of the beholder
Fun as part of being at work
Not that long ago, playing at work could only be found in young, hip companies like Google. Sure, there have always been company picnics and casual Fridays—elements companies interjected occasionally into the workplace—but the rise of Google and others like them changed how play and fun are viewed in the context of work. With an understanding of how play and fun increase productivity and creativity, Google, has been one of the leaders in elevating fun at work to serious business!
Happily, other companies are taking note and incorporating more fun and play into the work day. And good thing, too, because more and more employees, especially among Millennials, have made having fun at work a non-negotiable. Read more from the Society for Human Resource Management.
Fun in any job
Even if you’re not having fun in your job right now and are still searching for your ideal job, experts say that there are things you can do to increase your own job satisfaction—and yes, even have fun. On the life/career coaching blog, The Prosperous Healer, tips include moving around more; isolating those parts of your job you like and trying to do more of them; and taking some time to explore any feelings of resistance you’re feeling toward your job.
Having fun at work isn’t a distraction or a way to make the time go by more quickly. It could just be a necessary ingredient in being successful, according to Ron Culbertson in Do It Well. Make it Fun: The Key to Success in Life, Death and Almost Everything In Between. Find out more here—and be sure to have some fun today!