Don’t Forget the Fun Part!
“If we’re not having fun, we’re doing it wrong.”
I’ve heard the above quote attributed to both Groucho Marx and to Cowboy Jack Clement, and the lives of those two quirky, wickedly creative personalities are proof enough of the truth behind the words.
As a company charged with creating and energizing powerful brands, we’re very serious about the work we do every day. But not too serious. Experience has taught us that a humorless workplace produces predictable, mediocre results. Probably like you, that’s not what we’re aiming for.
TED talker Shawn Achor, author of “The Happiness Advantage,” calls it “positive psychology.” The accepted paradigm goes like this: we work hard to be as successful as possible, and finally, at the end of that long, hard struggle, it’s hello happiness. Unfortunately, “success” is somehow always just out of reach. According to Achor, when we turn that theory upside down and start with happiness, good things happen.
“Being happy in the present creates that happiness advantage,” he says. “We work harder, faster, and more intelligently. Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy level rises, and every single business outcome improves.”
It’s funny how many ways one three-letter word can make such a big difference.
Levity brings clarity – Different personality types, different opinions, differing beliefs – over time these things can build up to pollute the workplace atmosphere and squelch communication. Levity and laughter clear the air. When something is funny, everybody laughs together. Tensions are diffused, and productive, collaborative work can begin.
Lightening the mood lightens the load – We all work hard, sometimes too hard. It’s easy for hard work to become drudgery. Injecting a bit of fun into the proceedings breaks up the monotony, improving attitudes and producing a more impactful result.
Laughter unleashes imagination – Great ideas and effective solutions can only rise to the surface when people feel free to contribute and participate. Injecting a bit of fun into the proceedings allows people to be themselves and breaks down barriers to truly creative solutions.
For the most fortunate among us, work and fun are not mutually exclusive terms. For those folks, work doesn’t feel like work. They’ll tell you they just love what they get to do everyday. They work just as hard and face just as many challenges as the rest of us. The difference is they haven’t forgotten how to laugh about it. They’re busy, but never too busy to have a little fun.