Putting Some Fun Back Into 9 to 5

These articles keep coming, more and more. And I just see them in the NYtimes. Who knows where they are in other publications.

This article is about all the research pointing to the benefits of having fun in the workplace and part of corporate culture. How great leaders cultivate fun at work.

Some of the benefits:

“Being fun gets you hired! A study of 737 chief executives of major corporations found that 98 percent would hire an applicant with a good sense of humor over one who seemed to lack one.

Having fun makes people loyal! According to a survey of 1,000 workers conducted for the authors by the research firm Ipsos, employees who laugh at work tend to stay. Those who rated their manager’s sense of humor “above average” also said there was a 90 percent chance they would stay in their job for more than a year. If they worked for a boss whose sense of humor they describe as “average” or below, the employee’s chances of staying dropped to 77 percent.

Amusing people go far! According to a study in the Harvard Business Review, executives described by co-workers as having a good sense of humor “climb the corporate ladder more quickly, and earn more money than their peers.”

A good laugh is good for your health! A study from the University of Maryland showed that while stress decreased blood flow, humor increased it.

By 22 percent.”

I was talking to my friends at a start up about how they have video games, flat screen tv’s, couches and games, but no one touches them at work because it’s not accepted in the culture. The boss has made a financial investment in these “fun items” at work, but if he’s not modeling and encouraging fun and play, it just goes unused and wasted. I think improv training, even just a day of it, can help turn the tide and create a culture of fun and play.

It’s a new thing I’ve been thinking about Improv Training as a tool for Company Culture Creation. Like, Who’s in charge of your company culture? The admin who arranges the happy hour? Why not put the professionals in charge of culture to see results on the bottom line.

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About Shana Merlin

Merlin Works is the brainchild of Shana Merlin: improviser, teacher, and performer. Since 1996, she’s been leading classes that stretch people’s imaginations, push them out of their comfort zones, and make them laugh out loud for hours at a time.
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