Is there a return on investment of fun in the workplace?  Most people will agree having fun is healthy and healthy living is fun, but what about fun in the workplace? Is fun in the workplace disruptive, does it lower production, does it cause personnel problems? Or does fun in the workplace help employee retention, improve performance, and build teams? Is there a return on investment of fun?

There are many proven benefits of fun in the workplace. More employment candidates are looking for cultural fit than ever before. Employees who aren’t happy are less likely to be retained, and organizations that focus on employee engagement are thriving.

What is the return on Investment of Fun?

Reduces stress

Work can be stressful, deadlines, unhappy customers, supplier problems, and personnel issues all create friction and build stress. Most human beings aren’t at their best during times of stress; it’s easy to get frustrated, flustered, and angry, which often leads to mistakes. Fun and humor might be used at stressful times to relive this and avoid errors.

Adds Energy

Having fun energizes people. When work becomes drudgery, it sucks energy like a vampire on a vein. Adding fun at work can improve production through added energy.

Builds Teams

People who have fun together appreciate each other more than those who don’t. And when people appreciate each other they help each other get the job done.

Promotes a Positive Work Environment

Where do you think more work gets done, a positive work environment or a negative one?

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Doctors Sgroi and Eugenio headed a study of 700 workers who were shown 10-minute comedy clips or given refreshments. When these workers returned to their tasks, their productivity improved overall by 12 percent. — Center for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy.

In this Huffington post, New Study Shows Laughter Really is the Best Medicine. They quote studies showing that laughter improves memory and recall, lowers cortisol, and even reduces heart disease all good for the workplace.

It’s Not Only About Playing Ping Pong and Bring Your Dog to Work Day

“Workplace fun can be about getting it done. Remember when you didn’t study for that exam because you did something “FUN” instead? The next day, with upset stomach and sweaty palms, you tried to fake your way through the test. When you got the grade, it was awful. Remember that? How fun was it? We Homo Sapiens need to complete tasks and then bask in the glow of accomplishment. Because when we succeed, we feel better about ourselves, and it’s certainly more fun. You don’t have to play to have fun at work, but you can. Throw a Frisbee, play a joke, socialize a little. However, you can make the work, itself, play. For example, check out When you make work fun, it energizes the team, produces endorphins, and stimulates production.” — How to Have Fun at Work

Is Your Workplace Fun?

Is your workplace fun? Does it needs to be? I mean, it’s a job just get it done, collect your check and go have fun at home with family and friends, right? Or have you considered how having fun, or the lack thereof, affects the work environment? Is your workplace fun? If it is what makes it fun? If not what can you change?

You may also enjoy this post, 10 Ways to Promote Fun at Work .

How Can I Help? 

I like to help people and organizations, but I have three criteria I consider before taking an assignment – I believe in what the organization stands for, I know I can help, and it looks like fun. If you have any questions, Contact Me. 

Does your business have a  management training plan? Many organizations, large and small, use my book, The New Manager’s Workbook a crash course im effective management, as the basis for their leadership development program.

Photo credit: Lars Plougmann via / CC BY-SA