Do you have fun at work? Wonder if it makes you more productive?

Today is Mardi Gras, which in some communities and households, is a day devoted to fun and celebration.

But what about the workplace?  Is it professional to have fun at work?

I wondered about that today (as I slung on my Mardi Gras beads!) and was curious to see if there was a scientific evidence for a connection between fun at work and increased productivity.

Good news! There is!  A University of Florida study found a definite relationship between having fun at work and increased productivity and creativity.  Other studies have also found a strong link.

“With people spending more and more of their lives at work, they feel they might as well make it enjoyable, and our study finds surprising payoffs when they do,” says researcher Fluegge Woolf.  “Not only did employees report being in better moods and more engaged in their work, they also performed better on the job.”

The study also found that fun-loving employees were more creative.

Other studies have found similar results. You are probably familiar with the University of Melbourne study that found permitting employees to browse the Internet recreationally at work, on occasion, actually increased productivity.

Then there is 2002 Society for Human Resource Management survey on fun in the workplace. According to this survey, more than 75% of HR professionals believe that companies which promote a fun work environment are more effective than those that do not. The respondents claimed that a fun work environment benefited their companies by attracting new employees, increasing employee enthusiasm and fostering teamwork.

At Fletcher Prince, David and I believe that work can be fun.  And it appears that our clients think so, as well.  On LinkedIn, 28% of my recommendations mention the actual word “fun.”

So I don’t feel too guilty about having a little fun today, with my Mardi Gras beads, and having a New Orleans-style lunch with David for our weekly Tuesday production meeting (we’ll try not to talk about work too much).

How do you have fun at your workplace?  What milestones do you celebrate?  Do you ever socialize, as a group?  Does your culture allow for sharing, joking, laughter, creativity, or play?

Does having fun make you a more engaged employee, or business owner? Does it make you more creative and better able to solve problems?  How?

What will you do to have fun today?

Happy Mardi Gras!

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About Mary Fletcher Jones

Mary Fletcher Jones is a public relations and marketing consultant, and owns Fletcher Prince (www.FletcherPrince.com). Follow Mary on Twitter @FletcherPrince.

Posted on March 8, 2011, in Client/Agency Relationship and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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