Having Fun

… a core concept in Leadership Skills and Atlas 109

having funConcept description

Merriam-Webster defines fun as an enjoyable or amusing time, and one goal in managing oneself is to find professional assignments and colleagues where one can have fun at work.

As Ian Clark has written (reference below),

… we should start by recognizing that we all work most innovatively, diligently and productively when our work makes us happy. If you ask senior public servants what they find most rewarding about their profession, they almost invariably mention three things: 1) working with interesting colleagues, 2) working in the service of public, and 3) working on intellectually challenging problems. These are exactly the kinds of situations that, according to the research, raise the level of neurotransmitters such as dopamine (the “happiness hormone”) in the brain. We humans are ultrasocial animals and have a basic drive to relate to others. Like many other mammals, we also have a basic drive to make things happen. We get an emotional reward from: 1) interacting harmoniously with others, 2) contributing to a cause larger than ourselves, and 3) voluntarily immersing ourselves in a task that is challenging but closely enough matched to our abilities that we can find creative solutions and get feedback at each step. Over time, this leads to friendships, membership in a valued group, and a sense of personal achievement. In other words, we are having fun.

Many writers have produced suggestions for having more fun in the workplace. Some require action at the corporate level but many are things that individuals can do to increase their own enjoyment of the workplace. Examples include:

Jacquelyn Smith (2014), 8 Easy Ways To Have More Fun At Work, Business Insider, at http://www.businessinsider.com/easy-ways-to-have-more-fun-at-work-2014-10, accessed 21 February 2016.

Marelisa Fabrega, 25 Ways to Have Fun at Work, at http://daringtolivefully.com/have-fun-at-work, accessed 21 February 2016.


Ian D Clark (2008), Bending rules, making connections and having fun: potential elements for a strategy to advance public service innovation, Presentation to a Symposium on Innovation, Risk and Control at the University Seminar Canada School of Public Service Ottawa, 8 May 2008, at http://atlas101.ca/ic/wp-content/uploads/2016/01/Bending-rules-making-connections-and-having-fun.pdf, accessed 21 February 2016.

Atlas topic and subject

Managing Oneself (core topic) in Leadership Skills.

Page created by: Ian Clark, last modified on 21 February 2016.

Image: Steve Kaplan’s Blog, at http://stevekaplanblog.com/2010/04/14/a-breath-of-fresh-air/, accessed 21 February 2016.