Hence into week out. Got to sleep in this morning. Almost an hour. And didn’t have to drip. Inside the thermal comfort zone. So hence to blogging before I have to spread seed for the dinosaur descendants and tree mammals.
I ran across an article [Link] on the matter of fun in the workplace. And I was appalled. This is evidently something that has emerged since I retired and it makes me happy that I am retired.
It is not that I am against fun in the workplace. I am. Aside from those slime mold mentation level bogs who are happy so long as they are occupied, and the occasional nasty bit of violence, the only source of happiness in the workplace is fun. But there are some caveats.
First of all, fun cannot be managed. It cannot even be encouraged. But it can be tolerated and even approved of. But it cannot be managed. Fun has to come from within the individual. It does not come in a container from the office supply store. And when I see an organization with a fun manager (or some such) or fun sessions, I see abysmal managerial failure. And a workplace that is not fun. And cannot be fun.
The difficulty can be simply explained. It’s a Meyers-Briggs things. What is fun to an ESFJ is not fun to an INTP. And if you try to engineer fun you will select for some temperaments and make others unhappy, miserable even. So you have to be smarter than that. You have to know enough to recognize the presence/unpresence of fun in individuals and decide whether that individual can or will have fun, and do what you can to not – NOT! – prevent it. It’s also a Joseph Heller thing, a Catch of some sort. Maybe not, technically, a Catch-22 but something related.
It’s also related to the reverse observe efffect. If you see the phenomena, it will go away. If you seek to make the workplace fun, it will not be. You have to give people the state space opportunity to have fun and not punish them for doing so. Unless they do damage to others – extros having fun by eviscerating intros is not really fun.
And you have to understand that a short term loss in productivity is more than recovered in the long term. Don’t starve the donkey so long as he can still work.
This is not easy for most managers. It takes finesse. And righteous self-confidence. Not asentient arrogance. So fun is going to be a rarity. Because the average manager is at best marginally competent and woefully incapable of anything more than rote supervision. But you can try. Just try the right way.
If the workers think you aren’t aware they are having fun, then you are doing it right.