Giggle while you work

Make it a point to have fun at the office

It’s been a long week. After the scads of unproductive meetings, dealings with uncooperative co-workers and seemingly unlimited amounts of work to get done, you’re totally spent. “If only things could be different,” you muse. “If only work could be more fun.”

Work can be fun, if you create the environment. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the technical, often mundane routine that comprises the average workday. But if you understand the power of humor — especially in a professional setting — you’ll make your time in the office more enjoyable. When you do, even the toughest days will become more bearable.

“Fun and humor help individuals through crisis and change,” writes Dave Hemsath and Leslie Yerkes, co-authors of 301 Ways to Have Fun at Work (Berrett Koehler Publishers, $14.95). “Because they facilitate the release of tension, fun and humor increase employees’ ability to cope with stress on the job and to remain flexible, creative and innovative under pressure — central features of a strong, resilient corporate culture,” say the authors.

There are myriad benefits to incorporating the lighthearted side of your life into your workday. For ideas, visit Websites such as www.uproar.com and www.amused.com. In the meantime, Hemsath and Yerkes offer some suggestions on how to make fun at work:

  • Don’t wait for someone else to start the fun — become the catalyst. When tension is high, tell an appropriate joke. When your morale is low, find a way to make yourself laugh. Take the initiative.
  • Greet everyone with a smile and take the time for a hearty laugh. You’ll be surprised at how your stress will seem to melt away — if only for a moment or two.
  • Choose colors that enliven your spirit, use music to brighten your mood, and have toys to relieve stress. A yo-yo, koosh ball — even a strategically used water gun — can help give your attitude a lift.
  • Be the person who can find fun and humor in every situation. Not only will you elevate your own spirits, but you’ll also help others to feel more at ease.

For more on this subject, read:
Managing to Have Fun
Matt Weinstein
Fireside, $12

Work Like Your Dog: Fifty Ways to Work Less, Play More and Earn More
Matt Weinstein and Luke Barber
Villard Books, $22.95

The Game of Work
Charles A. Coonradt
Game of Work, $14.95

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