Authentic FUN at Work

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday season and is enjoying 2015 so far!  I took a lot of time off during the holidays and found some time to relax.  And, by found some time, I mean I became infected with a nasty sickness which forced me to lie on the couch and do next to nothing!  Looking at the positive, I would have probably felt too busy to relax had this not have happened, so it’s a bit of a blessing in disguise.  Whether talking about home life or work life, isn’t it true people tend to describe themselves as being “busy”?  It’s a sad fact in modern society that people are always feeling busy.  Often, we do it to ourselves; other times, we have little choice in the matter.

Now that I’m back to work, I remind myself that no matter how busy I feel (whether real or perceived) I should always find time during the day to have some fun or do something creative.  There’s simply no excuse not to inject a little fun into the busy workdays, as it can have countless benefits. For example, people tend to feel less stress and morale is often boosted when we can have true, authentic FUN at work. 

One thing my team does on a regular basis is what I’ve called “Coffee Poker”.  It was based on an idea I read about when I was in University.  For the life of me, I cannot remember where I read it or how a person could reference it.  Anyways, the idea was presented in a case study in which the manager of a factory was having difficulty with staff absenteeism and punctuality.  To cope with this, he/she decided they would deal a card from a deck of cards every day to each employee who arrives on time and stays for the entirety of a day (I’d like to think they would be relatively lenient with those staff members who are home sick).  At the end of the week, the best five card hand would win a prize of some kind – something viewed as an incentive to most or all staff.

While we certainly don’t do it for the same reasons, we have adopted and modified this game for the sole purpose of fun.  Basically, we deal out two cards to each of our team of about four or five people, and then present five cards common to everyone.  Whoever has the best five card poker hand between their two cards and the five common cards is deemed the winner!  And, by winner, I mean they ironically lose, as they are responsible for buying coffee for the entire group.  We also include the jokers in the deck too, meant to serve as an automatic win (err… loss) if a person ends up with one in their hand. In the end, the winner of the game is only out a few dollars, participation is completely voluntarily, and everyone has a blast! 

Until next time, I hope you find time in your busy life to have some fun and I’d love to hear about your ideas. Happy New Year and I’m looking forward to what 2015 brings!

Alex Castley