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In our personal lives, fun is a default desire and is considered central to living a fulfilled life. We plan our non-working lives around it and, while we often don’t consciously think about it, we know that fun replenishes our energy and fuels our wellbeing.

In the workplace, fun is often seen as a reward for hard work. Some businesses however inject fun into the workplace to make a career with them more desirable. Tech business and advertising agencies are renowned for building interesting workspaces to create environments that inspire creativity and connection.

Traditionally, however, fun is considered a distraction from achieving outcomes and not central to the growth of a business.

Recently it is becoming more broadly acknowledged that fun not only contributes to a person’s relationship with the business they work for, but also their ability to achieve better business outcomes.

Catherine Price, the author of ‘The Power of Fun’, deconstructs fun starting with what it does for us. She breaks this down into five specific outcomes:

  • It energizes us
  • It makes us more present
  • It unites us
  • It makes us healthier
  • And of course, it makes us happy

Put aside the notion of fun and its frivolous connotations and these five outcomes would be considered gold standard aspects of a business’ way of working.

Price goes on to talk about how we can create environments for fun, lending a couple of key insights:

  1. Reduce distractions. In our personal lives, this is as simple as removing your phone from the equation and in a business setting, this is a great start too. Switch phones to silent and ideally put them out of reach when you need to engage: the same goes for laptops, tablets, etc. Create forums for focus.

When we reduce distractions, we free ourselves to engage fully with others, or in the activity at hand. It allows us to be in the moment and therefore get the most reward from it.

  1. Interact more in real life. Price describes this as crucial to feeling connected and united. It is a challenge with increasing remote and hybrid working, although it is a worthy investment even if it can’t happen regularly.

Physical connection is extremely important as we’re able to pick up on subtle, non-verbal forms of communication which enhances the connection we feel with our peers.

Side note: while virtual can never replace physical, there are ways to increase the connectedness of virtual forums, something the Be Challenged team can help you with.

  1. Be rebellious. In our personal lives, this is about allowing us to break the rules every now and then. In a business setting, this is about giving people the freedom to explore ways of working, or ideas, that may not fit today’s mould.

When we escape our comfort zone, we often feel anxious in the moment. Once completed, however, the sense of accomplishment far outweighs the discomfort of the act itself.

Price’s key message is to prioritise fun. Be conscious about creating time and environments for it and whether it’s for your own well-being, or that of your business’s wellbeing, invest in it and don’t leave it to chance.

At Be Challenged, whether we’re setting out to achieve team-building outcomes or more defined learning: fun is the crucial ingredient to ensure our participants are open to adopting new skills and learning new ideas. From our early days, we recognised the power of fun and love the opportunity to help businesses inject fun, not just for frivolous benefits, but to supercharge their teams and productivity.

Thanks for reading.

Oliver Sheer

Managing Director, Be Challenged.

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