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Jennifer Newman: Having fun at work good for everyone

Fun is not often something we associate with work, but workplace columnist Jennifer Newman says it is possible.

An atmosphere of fun enhances productivity and decreases stress

Having fun in the workplace benefits everyone, says Jennifer Newman. (Getty Images)

Work first, play later is the accepted mantra, but workplace psychologist Jennifer Newman says it doesn't have to be that way.

All work and no play can be more than just an annoyance, it can affect your ability to do your job.

Newman sat down to speak with the Early Edition's Stephen Quinn about the benefits of a fun environment at work.

How did we even start thinking work could be fun?

It's no longer accepted that work has to be a grueling grind, there's been a work-ethic shift.

Workplace fun is defined as playful activities that provide amusement, enjoyment or pleasure that  intentionally encourage activities that positively affect worker attitudes and productivity.

Jennifer Newman breaks down the advantages of being in a fun workplace. (Jennifer Newman)

Surveys, indicate millennials (those born between 1977 and 1994) put a premium on fun, but all age groups enjoy the camaraderie fun provides.

Because of this, finding ways to make a job fun, has become of interest to employers as well.

What are the benefits of a fun workplace?

There are many:

  • Productivity is enhanced.
  • Staff perform better.
  • Stress is reduced.
  • Satisfaction increases.
  • Employees feel more engaged when they can have fun at work.

Workers tend to stay at a job where they have fun and employers use a fun reputation to attract talent.

How do employers orchestrate fun?

The most popular activities are ones involving food and company-wide occasions. This can include award nights, summer BBQ's, tournaments, or charity events like running or walking for a cause.

What if employees don't want fun imposed on them?

A lot of fun at work naturally occurs because employees generate it to make work interesting, relieve boredom or make friends.

We are naturally playful, and if your workplace doesn't take itself too seriously, fun can erupt on its own. It's because of the positive effects though that some organizations want to create fun.

Mandatory fun tends not to be very fun because it takes spontaneity and mischief out of the equation.

To hear more, click the audio labelled: Having enough fun at work can make the difference between a good and great job.