301 Ways to Have Fun at Work

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Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1997 - Business & Economics - 245 pages
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The most successful organizations add a healthy dose of play into their daily or weekly routines. In fact, research has shown that when people actually enjoy their jobs they're more creative, more productive, and more committed to doing their jobs well. Companies like the Colorado Health Sciences Center and Southwest Airlines attest to the positive effect of fun at work. Both trace increased job satisfaction and decreased employee downtime to concerted efforts to make fun a part of their corporate identity.
With 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work , Dave Hemsath and Leslie Yerkes offer a complete resource anyone can use to create a dynamic workplace that encourages and inspires fun-and-games camaraderie among employees. It combines thorough research with practical hands-on tools, and features hundreds of ideas real companies have used to lighten up the workplace.
The authors surveyed over 1,500 individuals from organizations around the world and received enthusiastic responses that yielded a broad range of ways to spice up the work day. The suggestions in 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work include humorous training films, dress-up and dress-down days, silly job titles, awards for people who go "above and beyond the call of duty" when a coworker is on vacation, "ritual dances" at the completion of a project, a fashion show when it's time to choose a new uniform-even foam dart fights after meetings.
Hemsath and Yerkes offer ideas for instilling an element of fun into various business functions-from office environment, to meetings, training, communication, hiring, recognition, team building, and "simple acts of fun." In addition to the fun ideas in these chapters, a series of side bars, called "fun facts," "fun quotes," and "fun resources" offer humorous and interesting facts and statements about the effects of fun on workplace performance and job satisfaction, and direct readers to useful sources for products and services to enhance workplace "funativity."
Hemsath and Yerkes show that creating a fun atmosphere in the workplace increases productivity and morale and has a positive effect on the bottom line. Most importantly, they give readers the tools to have more fun at work, no matter where they work, or what position they're in.
 

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Contents

Giggle While You Work
1
Funny You Should Say That
43
Learning the Fundamentals
69
Having FunWish You Were Here
97
Say It with Fun
127
How to Create Funatics
157
Simple Acts of Fun
183
A TwelveStep Method to Fun
216
Suggested Readings
230
Index
233
Companies Featured
237
About the Authors
240
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About the author (1997)

Fun at work--is it an oxymoron or the newest business management trend?

We believe that fun at work may be the single most important trait of a highly effective and successful organization; we see a direct link between fun at work and employee creativity, productivity, morale, satisfaction, and retention, as well as customer service and many other factors that determine business success.

We wanted to help people see that link, so we decided to conduct an international survey to collect real and relevant stories of what actual businesspeople are doing to create fun workplaces. The results have been phenomenal. We received responses from individuals at many levels of the corporate hierarchy, who work within companies of all sizes and in a wide variety of industries. The responses revealed that many successful companies have made fun an integral part of their corporate culture. Fun has become an organizational strategy--a strategic weapon to achieve extraordinary results in areas of corporate life ranging from training sessions to meetings to hiring practices.

ix
Humor consultant and bestselling author C. W. Metcalf wrote in HR Focus (February 1993) that "humor is a vital, critical element for human survival, and we often forget about it, and set it aside. We are told that laughter, fun, and play are unadult, unintelligent, and nonprofessional. Nothing could be further from the truth. One of the first indicators of the onset of most mental illness is a loss of the sense of joy in being alive."

Fun and humor help individuals through crisis and change. Because they facilitate the release of tension, fun and humor increase employees' ability to cope with stress on the job and to remain flexible, creative, and innovative under pressure--central features of a strong, resilient corporate culture.

Organizations that integrate fun into work have lower levels of absenteeism, greater job satisfaction, increased productivity, and less downtime. As cited in HR Focus in February 1993:


In the nine months that followed a workshop conducted by C. W. Metcalf at Digital Equipment Corporation in Colorado Springs, twenty middle managers increased their productivity by 15 percent and reduced their sick days by half.
Employees from the Colorado Health Sciences Center in Denver who viewed humorous training films and attended fun workshops showed a 25 percent decrease in downtime and a 60 percent increase in job satisfaction.
Fun and the energy it creates are contagious. By far, the most intriguing part of the hundreds of surveys we received are the many stories of the ways that individuals and companies incorporate fun into the workplace.

This book is essentially a compilation of these fun and inspiring stories.

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