It might not look like it, but the office above might be a more effective than your workplace. I am not talking about the cups but the fact that the people here decided to pull a prank on their co-worker. Researchers from New Zealand argue that it’s very important to have fun at work. Because fun increases engagement and engagement increase performance.
Researches conducted 59 semi structured interviews over four different companies. Initially they only focused on workplace engagement. But during these interviews participants kept connecting engagement with fun. Leading to the researchers shifting to the different connections between fun and engagement.
The researchers found two main types of fun. Firstly, workplace fun, which is any form of pleasure that you get from interacting with other people or tasks in the workplace. The second type is work fun, the enjoyment you get from performing you job.
How does having fun improve performance? Workplace fun increases feelings of engagement with both the team and the company. Furthermore, a short laugh, helps refocusing on the task and decreases stress. Work fun gets people more easily in the workflow. Finally, engagement leads to higher performance, lower turnover, higher commitment to work and doing more work than expected.
Should everyone cover their colleagues’ desks in cups? Probably not. What is fun depending on the individual, also it can’t be forced to have its desired effect. In conclusion, you should have fun at work but don’t take it too far.
Plester, B., & Hutchison, A. (2016). Fun times: the relationship between fun and workplace engagement. Employee Relations, 38(3), 332–350. https://doi.org/10.1108/ER-03-2014-0027