The Power of Fun

stephen
By Stephen Welch
Communication, HR and Change Consultant. @stephenwelch11

When was the last time you had some fun?  Some real fun? I’m guessing maybe quite recently seeing as most of us have just had a break over the New Year.

But what I mean is real fun at work? For many, 2016 was not only a year of depressing news, but also a year of hard slog at work. Almost every I know said their plan over Xmas was to get lots of sleep and try and recharge. But why should work be so hard? What is it about being trapped in our day-to-day lives that means we run out of energy at the end of the year. (Or in my case at the end of every week!)

We can get fun from different ways. For 2017, I challenge every IABC member in the UK to find a way to have some fun at work. You can do this in many different ways:

  1. Work with people you like, on a project you like. Admittedly, this is easier for some than others. My favourite project last year was developing Corporate Snakes and Career Ladders with Casilda Malagon: a new way of helping communicators develop their career through gamification. The game itself is a lot of laughs and developing it was too. We’ve now run it with people from 8 countries and continue to develop in new directions, with video and new designs for our popular workshops.
  2. Create excuses to take a break. I’m working with a colleague on a corporate design and internal communications project. Our modus operandi is to have a one hour meeting late afternoon and then reward ourselves for a successful meeting down at the local wine bar.
  3. Change the scene. Why meet at your office when there are millions of great alternatives? Sure, this is easier if you are in a city, where there are plenty of cafés. But don’t limit yourself to simply Starbucks, a common Costa or pedestrian Pret a Manger. In the last year, I’ve had meetings at London Clubs, Museums, the Royal College of GPs, Somerset House, and many other places which are free and open to the public. Or: support your local small, artisan café, please.
  4. Make the most of your memberships. Obviously as an IABC member, I am biased, but whatever association you join, make sure your objectives for joining are clear and tailor your activities towards those objectives. Take a moment to see if your original reason is still the right one.
  5. Focus on the essential. This Friday (Jan 6) is the official Epiphany. Mine came over the holidays when I realised I wasn’t listening to my own advice. Let me explain. I run lots of courses on how to be a business partner and strategic adviser. One of the components is time management and how to say ‘no’. But in 2016 I wasn’t focused enough and got too distracted. In 2017, by focusing on the essentials, I’m going try and leave more time for fun.

I’m not saying fun is something you can have all the time. But in my experience these are five things that you can do to have a more fun experience at work. Not all of them will be possible for all people. And I fully expect to look back at the end of 2017 and realise I’ve totally forgotten at least one of them.

How are you going to have fun this year?

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