The Importance of Having Fun at Work

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By Marti MacGibbon

Rachel, an endoscopy RN, prides herself on her commitment to her career, and to her patients. She counts rigorous self-discipline as one of her strengths, and expects the same of her subordinates. That's why she frowns on such “nonsense" in the workplace as birthday cakes and breakroom parties.

Rachel does value vacations though, and takes one every year. She always selects glamorous destinations because she works so hard and figures she deserves a rich reward. Rachel travels with her camera, meticulously recording each brilliant sunset, gorgeous vista, and tourist attraction so that she’ll have an accurate log of all her experiences.

When her vacation ends and she returns to work, Rachel reviews all her photos and is surprised that she can scarcely recall any sensation of all that “fun" she was supposedly having. She wonders why that is, and what she is missing. After some consideration, Rachel realizes that she’s been so busy attaining goals and meeting requirements, both in work and on vacation, that she has forgotten how to have fun. She wonders if she really knows what fun is.

Fun is an attitude, a state of being; it’s playfulness, enjoyment or amusement. Fun can inspire you, motivate you, and empower you to change your attitude, reactions and perception of yourself. Fun and a sense of humor will propel you toward your goal more quickly and give you inspiration, motivation and a sense of well-being along the way. If you're having fun, you're increasing your levels of "feel good" neurotransmitters in your brain—dopamine, serotonin, etc. When this happens, you empower yourself to feel better in general; you'll find it's much easier to be creative, energetic and empathic when you feel good.

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