If you’re interested in creating and maintaining a positive corporate culture, check out the 2nd edition (updated & expanded) of Fun Works: Creating Places Where People Love to Work by Leslie Yerkes.
Her book lays the foundation for the “fusion” of play and work. She showcases companies that consciously chose to integrate fun into their corporate culture, but it’s not an add-on or forced “let’s-take-a-break-and-play-a-game” type of fun ala The Office. According to Yerkes, “I don’t want to be put in charge of fun. That makes it a job and that would not be fun.”
Yerkes explores how different companies integrate fun into their normal course of business, creating positive experiences for employees and customers, to illustrate “there’s no right or wrong way to engage in serious fun.” She shares what she calls “Principles of Fun/Work Fusion” and the resulting benefits that include:
- reduced employee absenteeism and better retention
- a buffer for stress and potential burnout
- enhanced employee commitment
- stimulation of creativity & innovation
- positive impact on productivity.
Trying to deal with my own workload pressures, I found this book a great reminder that I need to adjust my own Puritan Work Ethic (i.e., work first, play later) to achieve a better balance. (Maybe I need to take a break and catch up on my favorite cartoons … )