The value of fun, play and happiness at work

In most organizations,  
work is done in a formal, serious way.
Little attention for moods and atmosphere.

Do you know the value of  fun, joy, play and happiness at work?
These factors could be your money makers.

The system

and and thinking

Made by: GL Hoffman

So, work is done in a formal, serious way. Formal language usually prevails (read our blog about formal language: Why we talk like idiots) and efficiency is leading. Why? One reason is: it’s in our habits and routines (we’ll write a blog about that subject separately!). In ‘traditional’ organizations; we just don’t do it “that way”. There is a separation between work and private lives. Business is formal. Another reason is that  there is a strong belief that fun, play and joy are efficiency killers. And therefore, it costs money (and value is money, see our previous blog).

The survival of the Happiest

This not completely true. While happiness is of great value for people, it also has economic value and it can play an important role in (changing) behavior. 

There is a direct link between moods and the behavior and actions of people. Pleasure, fun and happiness do play an important role in the way people act. Everyone is always in a situation with a certain state of mind, certain feelings and certain emotions. These moods are not consequences of our actions, they are the medium through which the actions occur.

In our previous blog, we wrote about creating more value and the role of happiness. The world is changing and scientific evidence is proving that happy, engaged employees are good for business because they perform better, produce better results, are more creative and are willing to go the extra mile. And happiness leads to engagement.  Lots of scientific proof on the value of happiness. Research shows there is a direct link between happiness and pleasure, and business results. For example, ‘happiness’ in work is leading to an increase in turnover of 37%, productivity by 31% and accuracy in performing tasks with 19%. Another study indicates that it leads to 10-25% higher performance at work.  So, fun, joy and happiness can also be seen as money makers. As some people call it: “The survival of the Happiest ‘.

If you want to read more about happiness in organizations, there’s a whole issue of Harvard Business Review on this subject. 

There are also many (management) books and initiatives relating to the fun factor. ‘The Fun Theory’ (an initiative of Volkswagen) is a nice example: it shows several initiatives where fun is used to change behavior. “Fun is the easiest way to change people’s behavior for the better .

Thereby, in relation to happiness and fun, play can be important. Not only because people love it, but it is a very important way to make new knowledge. The sensing, seeking, non-linear nature of playing and gaming is important. Many great discoveries arose playfully, by chance. Also in the (serious) gaming industry we see the combination of gaming and fun. Play to learn.

Apart from trying to prove the value of fun for people, you can also ask yourself how far we get if we do not enjoy what we do. As Johan Cruyff  once said it (freely translated from Dutch): “Beyond results, you need to have fun. You must have quality. Quality without return, does not make any sense, but return without having fun is also a drama….” John Paul Lederarch turns the whole thing around. He says: “There is no scientific evidence that seriousness leads to greater growth, maturity, or insight into the human condition than playfulness.”

(Owh. And why would you separate personal life from work? We’re all human. Why not connecting personal and business life?  Bring your soul to work)

So, why should you care?

Professionalism, the use of formal language and the focus on efficiency in organizations can affect ‘the fun factor’. And pleasure and happiness is not only of great value for people, it even has economic value and can play an important role in (changing) behavior. So, why not give it a try? Fun, joy, play and happiness at work could be your money makers.

How to unscrew the system

Now you know about the system.
And why you should/could act different.

We believe in acting different.
And we believe in the value of fun, pleasure, play and happiness.

(Plan B has “The Set Designer” for this: monitors a positive and optimistic vibe and knows the value of fun, playing and humor.)

Adding fun, happiness and play into your work and organization can bring you amazing results. Adding informality, besides the serious and formal way of acting and the focus on efficiency. This will not only make people happy, this can also help you to create more economic value and it helps you with issues of (changing) behavior.

Really.
Fun, joy, play and happiness can be your money makers.

Want to know more?

Check out our magazine
about “The Value of fun, play and happiness.
Read what other people say about this.
View my Flipboard Magazine.

And, if you don’t want to miss our blogs
stay tuned via our newsletter or via RSS.

And/or…

Why happy workers should make stakeholders smile.

The happiness dividend

Thank God, it’s Monday

 

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