Are You Having Fun at Work?
The Green Apple Podcast does weekly “Green Apple Slices”, where John Garrett and Rachel Fisch discuss a recent business article related to the Green Apple Message. These shorter segments are released each Monday, so don’t miss an episode by subscribing on iTunes or an Android app.
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Good morning. It’s John Garrett coming to you with another episode of Green Apple Slices before I get on the plane and fly to Dallas for the all staff meeting for HORNE, which is a really cool accounting firm doing some neat stuff. I called up my good friend, Rachel Fisch, the Accountants Group Leader for Canada in Sage, whatever that is. Rachel Fisch.
Rachel: Hey, John. How are you doing?
John: Doing great. I’m on my way to the airport, going to head to Dallas for the All Staff Leadership Summit I think is what they call it with HORNE, a really cool firm doing some really cool stuff.
Rachel: And I’m on my way to Boston to go to Accountech.
Rachel: I know.
John: Nice. Well, that’s fun. Possibly it’ll be a lot of fun. I mean it’s no Manitoba, but —
Rachel: It will, yeah, and I love the city.
John: But every Monday, we always get together and chat through an article.
Rachel: A little.
John: If you’re listening, don’t forget to hit “subscribe” so you don’t miss any of the future episodes that we do every Monday or my interviews every Wednesday, always about corporate culture and engagement and things like that. So this article was on the Employee Engagement Blog ironically called Engage. The name of the article is, “Are You Having Fun at Work?” It was by Samira Hafezi. This is something that I’m pretty passionate about because you spend more waking hours with the people you work with than you do your own family. Why not? Why not make it a little bit fun sometimes?
Rachel: For sure, and I probably — I was just thinking here as you were doing that really long intro, that I probably laugh the most at work. And then I’m like, no, no. I laugh at my kids. With my kids, no, no. At my kids. But yeah, no, I laugh quite a bit at work and we have this open workspace, so everybody can hear me laugh. I don’t know if people are closing deals or things going down and here’s Rachel sitting over in a corner like laughing or gets it. I actually do. I genuinely enjoy my coworkers. I love my working space. I love connecting with bookkeepers and accountants all over. I enjoy it. I have a good time doing it. But I’m most interested in, Mr. Garrett, with all of the research and stuff like that that you’ve done regarding corporate culture that you talk about the power of connecting to people when you laugh together. There’s something about —
John: Oh, like a laughter yoga sort of thing?
John: Yeah. No. There is a thing, laughter yoga where —
Rachel: There’s a thing, yeah.
John: There is a thing that if you are laughing together subconsciously, you’re brought closer to each other. It’s just how our brain works. And also actually, Tom Rath, who wrote all the StrengthsFinder series books, wrote another one called Vital Friends, where he did some research and found that 96% of people who have three close friends at work are more satisfied with their lives.
Rachel: That’s kind of a big deal.
John: Yeah, and not just satisfied with your job but actually your whole life.
Rachel: Your life, yeah.
John: Yeah. I mean the auditor in me just wants to say, the other 4% is a material difference. Let’s just say, everyone who has three close friends at work — and you’re only getting three close friends if you’re able to let your guard down, be a little bit vulnerable and have a little bit of fun together.
Rachel: Actually, one of our bookkeeper partners or one of our app partners, she’s many things in one. Based out of Montreal, part of our Facebook group, Canadian Sage Advocates. I just posted a little kind of what’s your tip for today, and she said, “My best tips and tricks for your business is always have fun. If you’re not having fun, ask yourself what you can do to make it more fun. You’re not going to see the hard days of work and you’ll come home more relaxed and life will be great.” So there you go.
John: Right. She knows French also. Of course, it’s true. Yeah, but I mean it is. You’re there for so long and you still get your work done but it doesn’t have to be painful. There are so many studies done that show that if you’re only doing work all the time, then you become less focused and the output isn’t as good. And so you want to definitely have some breaks in there and having some laughs definitely brings everybody together, lightens the mood, makes everything less stressful. Why not? Make it fun, make it enjoyable. People are coming there of their own free will. Give them a reason to want to come.
Rachel: I love it. Actually, I love reading through this article. So yes, there’s good points in here and certainly things that you can start implementing into your daily work life. But I love the pictures of just people doing silly things. The day we dressed up as skittles, the day we redecorated one of our colleague’s workspaces. What are those things that really don’t take a lot of time or effort and yet are going to be the best part of your day?
John: Oh, absolutely. That’s the stuff that I remember. I remember when I worked at Schwarz Pharma up in Mequon, Wisconsin outside of Milwaukee. And I remember for my birthday, they actually redid my whole cubicle as a bathroom. They took my chair and they actually got a toilet from Home Depot like a brand new toilet and put it where my chair is. My little pen holder was now like a tiny toilet brush. There was like a little plunger. It was absolutely hilarious. I totally remember that.
Rachel: Oh, wonderful.
John: Yeah. They did it afterhours after I left, and it was hilarious. Yeah, sure. Did it interrupt my productivity for about 20 minutes while I had to redo my office when I got there? Yeah, maybe, but I still got the work done.
Rachel: And you still remember it, those many years later.
John: Exactly. So there’s a free one for everybody in case you can’t think of something fun to do. But if you would like to read the article and actually see more about the purpose and the hope and the benefits of having fun at work, then check out greenapplepodcast.com. And while you’re there, don’t forget to do the research that I’m doing. There’s an anonymous survey, 60 seconds. It takes no time at all. There’s a big green button there. That’d be really helpful if you could do that for the book that I’m writing that’ll be out later this year, maybe in January. So yeah, I hope you have a good time in Boston, Rachel, and we will talk next week.
Rachel: Sounds good. Thanks, John.