I tend to enjoy a little bit of fun in my work life. I think most of us do.
Have you ever watched adults when they have their one day a year of fun at work because of an employee engagement effort? Even those who are not running with an egg on their spoon are smiling, laughing, and remembering those days when recess came three times a day.
Since we need to have fun more than once a year, I’m suggesting a few things you could do to enjoy yourself on a daily basis:
Go with your gut. Is somebody breathing down your neck waiting for delivery on an assignment as soon as you arrive at your cubicle? Tell them that, today, your gut will tell you what’s important, and it seems that their assignment isn’t gut-worthy. Wait for it . . . watch their face grow blood- red . . . and there you have it. Your first moment of fun.
Break into song. If work becomes too stressful, simply stand up, throw your arms out and burst into song like Susan Boyle. Sing “I Dreamed a Dream” at the top of your lungs. Try to get others to sing along. If they don’t know that song try anything by Taylor Swift. She is a simple songwriter with singable lyrics.
Laugh in a meeting. If you’ve been in a corporate meeting lately, there is only one kind of laughter allowed – the awkward kind of robust laughter provided by nervous participants when an executive says something that is not even humorous like, “Sorry I’m late . . . I’ll blame this one on my AA.” Next time you’re in a meeting, wait to laugh when it is truly deserved, like when an executive says, “I know we’ve had to let a lot of people go, but I think we’re really moving in the right direction.”
Ask a truly meaningful question at the next Town Hall meeting. These meetings are generally well-intended but often ass-numbingly boring (yes, I think I just coined that phrase). When the question and answer period begins, jump up before the guy who asks, “When will we get better parking?” and ask something truly meaningful such as, “Do you think there is a God? Do you believe in eternal life? If so, why?”
Supply everybody with Jello shots that are to be consumed every time somebody hits on a corporate buzz word. That’s right. Every time you hear someone say words like — bandwidth, best practice, buy-in, circle back around, or deliverable — everybody takes a shot. I promise you that the workplace will be a hoot within 15 minutes.
Really go outside of the box. The next time a leader asks for your opinion on how to drive results and suggests you should “go outside of the box,” do something extreme. Tell them that you think they should do a rap with Eminem and offer it on iTunes. Or tell them that the meeting room is a box and you need to step outside of it. Then take a long lunch.
Establish a “Be the Leader” day. If you’re the leader, you can have some fun of your own. The next time somebody complains about you making more money than them, give them your job for a week. Let them deal with the latest HR issue. Give them the new budget and tell them to make it work. Have them sit through every meeting you have to attend each week. Turn over the chronic complainer to them. And make sure someone is following them with a video camera. This could be a YouTube sensation.
Those are just a few tips. If you have any you’d like to add, feel free. I welcome you to go out of the box.