Do you remember the most fun workplace you ever worked? Do you remember when innocent fun at work made you want to go to work? Do you remember having a best friend at work? When did things change or, have they?
So many questions with interesting answers. I remember workplaces where fun ruled and the work always got done, alongside the laughter, joy and camaraderie. Maybe that was a long time ago… in the past several years things have really changed. We now find ourselves in situations where some people are afraid to say much of anything for fear of being accused of violating respectful workplace policies or harassment policies. These are good things to have in place in workplaces, no question! I am not advocating that we allow disrespectful behavior or sexual harassment in any way. However, has the pendulum swung too far in the opposite direction?
I remember a day when I commented on how nice a male co-worker looked. He looked at me very seriously and said “careful now”. I said “excuse me?” He said “sexual harassment you know”. I’m sure my mouth dropped open wide enough to park a Chevy, as I wondered what had just happened! How did, “you look nice today” become an invitation to something sexual?
We know that fun and laughter are good for us! They are good for our health and help to undo some of the negative chemical effects of stress. Laughter and fun can make people communicate and enjoy each other’s company where they otherwise might not. Laughter and fun can keep customers coming back to the same place of business because it’s a happy place to be. Have we lost some of this at work? And if so, how do we bring it back? Or should we even try?
When we look at Employee Engagement there are many factors that influence it. But if a company or business is not doing well on all of the factors that influence engagement, we find that fun can actually trump (the verb!), the need for perfection in communication or connection, for example.
Can we choose to be less offended and to see the intention or heart of the person who is trying to bring laughter or fun into the workplace? Or into our lives? And if so, could we positively influence our health by doing so? I say YES!
If you have ideas and you would like to share them, let’s talk!