April 1st has been named International Fun At Work Day!
So, what is fun? According to the dictionary, the definition of “fun” is enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure. And while the word itself is defined by that description, it does not answer the question “What is fun?”
When I was young, my cousin and I loved to play inside the closet of the back bedroom at our grandma’s house. And what did we play? We played “Office.” We made nameplates out of paper and hung them on the sliding closet doors, and we tried to act professional by writing notes to each other and shuffling papers. We thought it was great fun!
Now here I am many years later working in a proper office. I have a nameplate and I write various types of notes, and is it still fun? . . . well, admittedly the particulars of having a nameplate and writing notes have lost some sparkle. However, yes – I do have fun at work, sometimes. And most of the fun comes from interacting with great people and finding joy in the ordinary.
When I was brand new at the company I was assigned to stand at the door and welcome the employees into the All Staff meeting while handing out T-shirts. It turns out smiling, saying “good morning,” and asking for T-shirt sizes can be fun.
It can also be fun to sing “Happy Birthday” in a group while standing around a cake. Offering large squares of bubble wrap to coworkers as a stress relief tool can be fun. Sharing a laugh over a silly joke printed on a candy wrapper can be fun. Inviting coworkers to participate in drawings for awesome items, like Star Wars Band-Aids, can be super fun. Talking about weekend plans, eating pancakes, barbecue, or snow cones all contribute to fun, as do the emojis and gifs in the instant messages.
Sometimes the necessary, needed work we have to accomplish is dull or overwhelming and would never be described as fun. I think fun at work isn’t necessarily looking for fun in the work, it is being the fun when we work.
It is true that we can’t all work with a favorite cousin from the back bedroom closet, but we can take a conscious breath and share our fun side.
So, what is fun? I think it is you – you are the fun.
Happy International Fun At Work Day! Go share some fun (and write me a note about it)!