Because of all the griping and complaining you hear on a daily basis, whether at the store, the water cooler or at home, you would think no one wants to have fun at work. How terrible is it that the United States is one of the richest countries on Earth but our citizens cannot learn to be happy and have a little fun.
“Thank goodness it’s Friday!”
“I hate Mondays!”
“The week is half over!”
People say these things because they hate their jobs and just want to get to the weekend when they can have a little fun. How pathetic. Life isn’t about the weekends. Life is about living every day … with intention.
You can learn how to have fun at work. You can enjoy your job. You will enjoy your job if you learn how to have fun at work. It’s a crazy thought, I know. But, it’s true.
Here are 10 ways you can have fun at work:
1. Make friends to have fun at work – I believe most people will say they have friends at work. If all you do is complain and whine with your co-workers, they are not your friends. They are fellow whiners and complainers. Real friends pull people up instead of drag them down.
If you want to have fun at work, get to know some co-workers who are happy all the time. Happiness can be contagious. You will have more fun at work if you surround yourself with happy and fun people. The same, of course, can be said for any facet of your life.
Do you consider your co-workers friends if you don’t do things with them outside of the job? I believe they can be. Your family/home life may be too hectic and busy to hang out with other people.
That is how my family life is. With three kids (a teenager and two little ones) and our commitment to our church, we rarely have nights free of activities. We usually don’t schedule other activities because we’re busy to begin with. That does not mean my co-workers are not my friends.
One of the reasons you will love your job is because you will make some great friends there. You will celebrate with them when children are born or they get married. You will console them when a family member passes away. You’ll go to lunch or just chat in the hallway. These friends will be the reason you stay at your job and don’t go elsewhere.
A few years ago, we had seven supervisors leave the firm within a few months of each other. None went to other public accounting firms. Instead, they each took jobs in industry. Of these seven supervisors, two were extremely close friends.
I was very sad to see them leave but they had to make the decisions best for them and their families. I understand that. To this day, I still talk with each of them. Our conversations may not be as frequent as I’d like but we can catch up quickly. They are true friends.
2. Integrate your family to have fun at work – It would be awesome if every day could be “Bring Your Child to Work Day” but that’s not feasible. However, your spouse could bring your kids in to have lunch with you. They can stop by for 20 minutes and say hi to your co-workers.
It is always a joy when my co-workers’ spouses and children come into the office. I love when my wife and girls stop by. Nothing makes the day better than the sounds of children in the halls.
A favorite activity of my family is when the office has a family day at the zoo. We’ve also been able to bring our children to some of the office’s charitable endeavors. I love my job but I love my family more. If I can integrate the two, work is even more enjoyable.
3. Take a break to have fun at work – Public accounting and many other professions are demanding of our time. The billable hour rules everything. That may be true but if you take breaks, you will be more productive. Being more productive means you can finish your days earlier. Finishing earlier will mean getting to go home and have fun with your family sooner. See how this goes?
I take frequent breaks through each day. Most of my breaks take fewer than five minutes. They keep me focused and energized. I’m able to accomplish more if I stop working every 30 – 40 minutes rather than slaving away for an hour straight.
4. Joke around to have fun at work – If you make the right kind of friends at work, you will be able to joke around with them. I’m currently working out of town with two of my favorite co-workers. We joke with each other all day. But, we’re also able to efficiently work for prolonged periods of time. There definitely has to be more work than joking. But a little laughter during the day never hurt anyone.
5. Play a trick on someone to have fun at work – Be careful with playing tricks on people but the occasional trick is okay. You definitely don’t want to be seen as the prankster at work who plays more tricks than he gets work done.
When my boss reached a certain age milestone, a co-worker and I decorated his office and parking spot in the office garage. We knew our boss well enough to know he would go along with it instead of get mad about it. It allowed lots of people to laugh that day. If we treated it like every other day, we would have missed our opportunity to engage the employees.
6. Eat, eat, eat to have fun at work – Everyone loves to eat. If there is free food in the office, it goes quickly. We use this tactic during our busiest time of year. We eat our way to the tax deadline. Not everyone participates but that’s okay. Bringing people together to do the same thing is a good idea.
7. Integrate customers to have fun at work – Businesses have customer appreciation days all the time. Sure, the primary goal of a customer appreciation day is to show appreciation to the customer. Have you noticed that many employees have fun on those days too?
You don’t have to have a formal customer appreciation day to integrate customers. The most enjoyable part of my job is interacting with clients. I love when clients come to the office. It doesn’t happen frequently but when it does, it’s very enjoyable.
You can meet in the office, give a brief tour and then go to lunch. Maybe you can get tickets and take your client to a ball game. Anything you can do with a client can be fun and build loyalty.
8. Go to lunch to have fun at work – Everyone can use a break during the day. Working through lunch sounds like a good idea so you can get more work done but you still need to disengage your mind for a while. Go with a few friends from work or meet some non-work friends who work close to you. Maybe you can even meet your spouse or significant other.
I’ve discovered that going to lunch with more than five people is a bad idea. It’s usually harder to get a table and can increase the wait time. There will also be certain people who will disagree on the lunch choice.
And, of course, only go with a group of people if you like everyone in the group. Going to lunch with someone you’re not comfortable with or have conflicting personalities will not do you any good. You want to have fun.
9. Create office games to have fun at work – Some offices have pool tables or ping pong tables. Others offices have lounges with video game consoles. Others just have cubicle after cubicle after cubicle. Fun is not allowed. If that is your office, see what you can do to change the landscape.
Implement a daily trivia contest, a Wii bowling challenge or pumpkin carving contest. Do something that can engage multiple employees. You will not get everyone to participate and that’s okay.
10. Create a team atmosphere to have fun at work – Our office has sponsored different sports teams over the years. We’ve had co-ed volleyball, softball and soccer teams. We’ve had marathon relay teams. We participate in charity events.
These events and games do not occur in the office but they build camaraderie among employees. They will talk about the games before and after they occur. They will create memories to look back on with fondness.
You can learn how to have fun at work. You can have fun in a number of ways. Having fun while working is socially unacceptable but should not be. Employers try to create engaged employees. Happy employees will be engaged employees. Nothing creates happiness like having a little fun.
Will you commit to having more fun in your job? You can be the change agent in your company. Another thing you can do to promote having fun is to share this article with others. Maybe it can push them a little closer to having more fun too. Use the social sharing buttons below to share this with co-workers and friends. Let’s have some fun!