S'More From The AP

Week Ending January 29, 2016

In Honor of Fun - By Ms. Hayunga

When Traci asked me to do the S’more on our fun-filled faculty meeting last week, it made me think back to all the “fun” things I have encountered in the workplace over the years. From the school mascot waiting for me in my office, in a wheelchair and a “boot,” after I had fallen and broken my foot, to numerous staff get-togethers, hot dog cook-outs on MLB’s opening day and practical jokes that are too many to count. Personally, I can’t imagine working in a place where FUN is not a core part of the organization’s culture. And we have the privilege of being in a profession that allows us more opportunities for fun than most – we have the best job in the world!

So what really constitutes workplace FUN? Fun at work can fall anywhere on the spectrum from free doughnuts or socializing with co-workers to a citywide scavenger hunt or building a house together :-) The bottom line is that in order to get the most out of workplace FUN, you have to make yourself open to it. Sometimes it may require you to step out of your comfort zone, be silly, or make a downright fool of yourself. Just always remember that it is in the spirit of FUN – and we’re all in it together!

What does the research say about workplace FUN? There are studies that support that workplace FUN positively correlates with high job satisfaction and improves employee retention. However, other studies show that FUN in the workplace can reduce productivity. Well, obviously we can’t have an all-day-long play day every day we come to work, but we can sprinkle just enough FUN around that we look forward to coming to work, rather than dreading it. Look at the FUN we had simply leading up to our faculty meeting last week!! The signs and emails going back and forth between teams created a “buzz” across campus that made the grand finale so exciting, and FUN! Having a staff that engages in and embodies the spirit of FUN creates an energetic and positive culture, which is the atmosphere for which we strive at Old Settlers.

What should we remember about workplace FUN? Yes, there is a time and place for the fun we have at work….and I think at OSE, we have figured out just the right balance to where we are extremely productive, while also enjoying our jobs and having FUN while we do them! Always remember that these FUN occasions provide an opportunity for us to forge meaningful relationships with our colleagues (and see another side we didn’t know existed –dancing on tables??) that we otherwise may not have had the chance. I think Old Settlers is on track to not only building even stronger staff relationships, but to also continue to foster the happy, positive climate and culture we have come to know and love. By keeping FUN in the work equation, OSE will continue to be a great place to be!

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TEDxABQ - Jill Vialet - What Play Can Teach Us

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