Get out your noise-makers and party hats, because Jan. 28 is National Have Fun at Work Day! It’s not a widely known holiday, but it can be a very important one. Employees can only take so much when it comes to long, intense work schedules, stressful deadlines, and little to no freedom of expression before morale and productivity start to slip.
I don’t know how many times I’ve quoted Willy Wonka, “A little nonsense now and then is treasured by the wisest men,” or Jack Nicholson, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” when discouraged from injecting some harmless fun in school or work. What most people don’t realize is that in most modern work settings, the more grueling a schedule or job is, generally the less productive people become.
Science Has Your Back!
There have been several scientific studies that connect fun with productivity. There are also reports of major companies like Google and LinkedIn shifting focus to their employees having fun by paying for activities like volleyball or bowling, or having rooms dedicated to foosball so employees can play a game when feeling stressed.
Use your imagination, and a little bit of best judgment, to come up with ideas to de-stress yourself and ease the tension among your co-workers and supervisors. It could be as small as bringing a festive game to share with co-workers to playing with a beach ball with fellow colleagues during a break if the weather is nice enough.
Laughter is The Best Medicine
A survey published by the professional development magazine “Training and Development” revealed that 84% of HR managers said employees with a sense of humor do better work. Since most adults spend a large part of their time at work, there should be more opportunities to have a laugh and enjoy yourself.
Despite what most people may think, laughing doesn’t always mean someone is goofing off. Having a good laugh can ease workplace tension, reduce conflict among your peers, and can fight lost work time caused by boredom. In many ways, laughter can lead to a more productive and meaningful work experience.
The famous inventor and businessman Thomas Edison said, “I never did a day’s work in my life. It was all fun.” While you may not have as much fun as Mr. Edison, take some extra time this week to enjoy yourself. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll accomplish without realizing that work is actually getting done.