Thanks to Kevin at Consumatron.com for sending me this link to a fabulously ridiculous story about a company - Gem Plumbing and Heating - hiring "Fun University" to help them make their boring workplace more fun.Link
No, it has nothing to do with the work at hand, but completely extraneous bouts of silliness, as in: "About 100 cans of silly string were placed around the building, and when employees got their hands on them, this building just exploded. It was an absolute blast."
As I try to explain in the "follow the fun" chapter of Get Back in the Box, efforts like this are really stupid, and actually defeat the whole point. By making the "fun" at work extraneous - external and unrelated - to the boring and dull work that people are actually doing, it only exacerbates the problem. It's like giving kids dessert as a "reward" for finishing the main part of the meal. Why do they need a reward? Because the main meal tastes terrible!
The reward just reinforces the notion that the work itself is not fun.
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