Fun at work isn’t just frivolity

Think about the last time you had fun – genuine fun. Take a moment to think about how you were feeling. The emotions and sensations you experienced. Consider how you feel reliving the memory of having fun. Maybe you’re smiling to yourself? Maybe you feel lighter, more present, more engaged? That there is the power of having fun.

Fun has the ability to engage us, make us more present, it can help motivate us and above all fun makes us feel happier. It is so much more than an adjective to describe a light-hearted past time, it goes much deeper and has the power to change our outlook and how we feel.

Science journalist, Catherine Price believes that fun is an essential element of people’s health and happiness. She identifies three key components of fun. All of which can be applied to the workplace.

1 / Playfulness

At it’s core, playfulness is about injecting levity and lightness, it’s about not taking things too seriously. Yes, the work we do is serious. Helping our clients shape strategies and make decisions which ultimately affect their financial wellbeing is a serious business. But that doesn’t mean that the way we work has to be. A playful environment allows for experimentation and innovation. It allows us to positively challenge ourselves and those around us so to build a better workforce and stronger thinking. Don’t be afraid to be the one who brings some levity to the meeting – you don’t have to be serious 100% of the time in order to be seen as credible.

2 / Connection

Connection is about coming together. It can be deep, and it can also be momentary. Connection is critical to building a productive and efficient environment, and in today’s hybrid world is arguably more important than ever. A connected team is a team with stronger communication skills, more collaboration and higher degrees of knowledge sharing. Making time to speak to one another, to have that coffee catch up, to hang back at the end of the meeting to check in with someone, is part of the job. Your connections are your responsibility, don’t let them slip.

3 / Flow

Flow is a state of mind where you are totally immersed and engaged in a task. In flow, time flies. Actions, movements and thoughts come with ease – each one following on from the other in an undisturbed fashion. Flow is where people are most productive and where enjoyment is at its peak. You won’t be able to experience flow with everything you do, but there are things you can do to help yourself get into the zone. By far the biggest is removing distractions. Email notifications, phone calls – these are guaranteed ways to interrupt flow. Consider putting the out of office on if you know you’re about to embark on a task which requires dedicated attention. Create the environment around you which allows for you to be absorbed in and enjoy what you’re doing.

If we want to work in an environment where people are motivated, engaged and efficient, it’s time to take fun seriously. The saying goes ‘there’s a time and a place for everything’ and I hope the above goes someway to convincing you that the right time and place for fun is at work.