With different companies like Google, Facebook, and Box famous for putting slides, scooters, and playgrounds in their offices, I could not help but question if I should be having more fun at work, separate from getting enjoyment out of the work I am doing. But before my mind could wander too far, I realized something very important.
If the work itself is not satisfying enough that you have to have a roller coaster going through the office, then do you really have the right job?
Pictures are worth 1,000 words
Working on a project for a blog on Harlem Shake, I typed in “fun at work” in the <search> on a popular stock photo site. Surprisingly, nothing good came up. It’s not that I was being overly picky; it was that there was not a single image that represented the whole phrase. There were pictures of people having fun, and there were pictures of people at work, but not a single photo of people doing both at the same time. Now it could be that these stock photo sites are not modern enough to capture the Disneyland model of the work environment that has taken over many corporations, but I am not entirely sure it matters.
Find a job that you love, and it will never feel like work. I enjoy what I do and find it rewarding in and of itself.
There is an argument that creativity is inspired when surrounded by ‘fun things,’ and that some activities and situations incentivize employees to stay at work longer. Any idea can work for some, but each person is inspired differently. My best ideas are born when I pop headphones in my ears and just listen to music in an empty room. Other distractions are merely that: distractions.
Novelties are not always novel ideas
So what kind of fun should an employee be having? The fun needs to have a purpose. If a scooter in the office is what it takes for someone to get things done on time, then by all means buy one. Get two! Everyone still walks into the office to get a job done no matter where they work.
Creativity and fun are subjective ideas. What is fun for me is not fun for everyone else. We should all find work that we enjoy. If our main reason for waking up in the morning is to jump in bouncy house on lunch break, we will have a significant challenge when the novelty wears off.