Having Fun in the Workplace


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It's 2014; make a decision to make YOUR workplace more more enjoyable & productive: Have Fun!!

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Having Fun in the Workplace

  1. 1. “Humor & Fun in the Workplace” Margie Roop, LPCC-S; CEAP; SAP LifeServices EAP 1-800-822-4847
  2. 2. Make sense?  “The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that is laughter. The moment it arises, all our harnesses yield, all our irritation and resentments slip away, and a sunny spirit takes their place.” - Mark Twain
  3. 3. Did you know?   The average preschooler laughs or smiles 400 times a day? Or that the number drops to only 15 times a day by the time people reach age 35? People only smile 35% as much as they think they do?
  4. 4. Also, that…..  Laughter releases endorphins, a chemical that is 10 times more powerful than the pain-relieving drug morphine, into the body with the same exhilarating effect as doing strenuous exercise?
  5. 5. Oh, and by the way…..  Laughing increases oxygen intake, thereby replenishing and invigorating cells? It also increases the pain threshold, boosts immunity, and relieves stress!
  6. 6. Six reasons fun can improve work quality & mental health: 1. Fun breaks up boredom and fatigue. 2. Fun fulfills social human needs. 3. Fun increases creativity and willingness to help. 4. Fun fulfills the need for mastery and control. 5. Fun improves communication. 6. Fun breaks up conflict and tension.
  7. 7. Survey Results! Did you know this?  A survey by Hodge-Cronin & Associates found that of 737 CEOs surveyed, 98% preferred job candidates with a sense of humor to those without. Another survey indicated that 84% of the executives thought that employees with a sense of humor do a better job than people with little or no sense of humor. Love those pants, Rodney!
  8. 8. More survey results! Really?  Dr. David Abramis at Cal State Long Beach has studied fun at work for years. He's discovered that people who have fun on the job are more creative, more productive, better decisionmakers, and get along better with co-workers. They also have fewer absentee, late, and sick days than people who aren't having fun. Toga party, anyone?
  9. 9. It is also a useful tool that can be used to help us lighten up and not take things so seriously. It can also effectively reduce the level and intensity of conflict among employees, if properly used. The use of fun and humor in the workplace 1. Must be appropriate in nature & how it is used. 2. Humor should not be offensive to the ordinary or reasonable person. 3. Meant to encourage people to see the absurdity in our thought processes, perceptions, & behaviors.
  10. 10. Can’t laugh about it….?  The inability to laugh may be a sign of impending burnout. When it is no longer possible to find humor in anything, it may be that the employee is in the throes of burnout, or possibly depression..
  11. 11. Substances as coping mechanisms!  The desire to feel good, to change a mood, or even to loosen up a bit, is why many people turn to alcohol or even legal or illegal drugs. However, there is no way that any man-made substance can be as powerful as the endorphins that the body produces for free, without any side-effects!!
  12. 12. Really…?!   Norman Cousins, brought to our attention how laughter can be healing or reducing symptoms. You may recall that he had a serious and painful illness. He discovered that 10 minutes of laughter could lead to one hour that was pain-free.
  13. 13. Work should be fun too!  Who said that fun and work were mutually exclusive? Have we unknowingly incorporated the quote used in exercise "no pain, no gain" to the workplace? Is work meant to be stifling and boring? Let's hope not, because boredom can give rise to burnout.
  14. 14. They did what in the workplace? Yes, they can!  Can businesses successfully implement an employee-friendly and fun environment? Isn't it dangerous? There are two examples that come to mind that demonstrate just how successful these efforts can be. Flown with them?  Southwest Airlines has departed from the typical approach to passenger service and has been rewarded for it. The flight attendants were named number one among the flight attendants of all the airlines.
  15. 15. SWA…….    The SWA flight attendant uniform is casual and not at all like other airlines. Encouraged to use humor in their customer service: Does the playfulness of the attendants impact their credibility with the passengers? Apparently not, as evidenced by the laughter and positive comments that follows some humorous remarks by the attendants. And THIS from a no-frills airline.
  16. 16. Bring pets where?  Autodesk, a California-based software company, has implemented an unusual bring-your-animal-to-work program. The company recognized that employees would happily work the long hours that are sometimes required if they can have their animal companions with them. Of course, there are conditions and expectations that accompany the program.
  17. 17. What will YOUR workplace do?  However, there are many other ways to create an environment that is pleasing to employees.
  18. 18. You may ask "What if I make a fool of myself?"     That may happen, but you will be in great company. There is something magical about someone who is so confident that he or she will take the risk of being misunderstood or criticized by some negative “Debbie Downer.” There is also something magical about a company that has the ability to see that happy and laughing employees are good, productive, and loyal employees. This magic can be transformed into a productive and financially profitable workplace environment.
  19. 19. Some Ideas…..   Establish a “Fun Committee” whose sole mission is to research and select ,i.e., monthly company-wide fun activities (and/or do the same by department). Create a “Humor Bulletin Board” and/or a “Humor” break room.
  20. 20. More ideas….    Schedule fun “Dress-up Days” for Holidays and/or “just because”… Have a “cartoon caption” contest using photos of fellow employees in unusual stances. Promise the team a reward if they meet a goal by getting to dress up in a certain costume.
  21. 21. Also, consider….   Add pertinent cartoons, or funny quotes to staff memos or communiques’. Put up photos of the management team when they were small children, or photos of the team as babies and the contest is identifying everyone correctly.
  22. 22. Well, why not….?!  Keep a big basket of wigs, funny glasses or nose glasses, masks, and/or clown shoes in the “Break Room” so employees can spontaneously grab an item that just happens to strike their fancy!
  23. 23. Had you ever thought to…..?!     Do a monthly “Chinese Gift Exchange”-white elephant gifts only! Have a twice-yearly scavenger hunt. Do a “Secret Santa” gift exchange in July! Have a “Pajama Day” on the last Friday of the month!
  24. 24. Good Luck and call LifeServices EAP for more ideas!!!       Allow all departmental employees the chance to get involved in a Humor Committee. Set guidelines for proper use of humor at work. Police inappropriate examples. Must have a buy-in at the top, which includes the company and the department. Enjoy! Life is waaaay too short! Resource: Humor at Work: MikeKerr.com
  25. 25. What do YOU do for fun in the workplace?  Share Your ideas for all to enjoy and learn from!!!