Fun @ Workplace :))


“The Paleolithic hunters who painted the unsurpassed animal murals on the ceiling of the cave at Altamira had only rudimentary tools. Art is older than production for use, and play older than work. Man was shaped less by what he had to do than by what he did in playful moments. It is the child in man that is the source of his uniqueness and creativeness, and the playground is the optimal milieu for the unfolding of his capacities.”

This profound observation has found a new dimension of meaning in the workplace today. The phenomena is called Fun @ workplace & is deciphered by powers that be as almost a lesson in starvation, sitting in a busy restaurant while the waiter refuses to serve your order for a considerable period of time, leaving you alone to smell the aromas arising from other guests’ serving & nurse your aching & rumbling stomach! It’s a pity, we do not choose to tip or not tip ‘fun-initiators’ in organizations. They actually get awarded for meeting such behavior to us as a part of their appraisals. This is another amazing misuse of HR in organizations (the other more harmful one being using them for administrative jobs)

The typical balancing equation of any work relationship betwixt the employer & the employee would look something like this:

SCENARIO

EMPLOYEE HAPPINESS

EMPLOYER HAPPINESS

Less FUN – More WORK

Y

Y

More FUN – More WORK

N Y

Less FUN – Less WORK

N

N

More FUN – Less WORK

N

N

 It is important that we read the table above in the light of the 9 hour workday that we typically are supposed to have. The premise is, no one likes to work beyond the stipulated work hours as it takes away from them their own “me” time. Logically, it boils down to setting up of organizational priorities keeping in mind the employees’ priorities. The thought flow is fairly raw & an attempt is made to capture it in the points below:

  1. Organizations are economic entities who employ employees to achieve certain ends & objectives which are econo-commericial in nature
  2. The objective emanates from the broader vision and individual job responsibilities should be subsets of the higher goals
  3. Employees like you & me are normal mortals & go to work to work towards their ambitions which maybe money & beyond
  4. HR is a department meant to safeguard & act in the interest of the organization [not individual employees]

 On the face of it, it is funny how the organizations miss out on these basic rules when it comes to work environments. Assuming the cascade of responsibilities logic holds true, ensuring fun @ work must too have a link with the larger goal of the system!

 It could look something like this (going by the HR BSC approach):

VISION/MISSION

(merged for convenience by author) 

To be among the best producer of compound X in the world! > To produce 100 mn tones of compound X
FINANCIAL To realize 100^100 mn crs in revenue for the fiscal
CUSTOMER To ensure world class customer experience through incremental employee orientation towards customer service
INTERNAL PROCESSES To ensure tools & processes are favourable to the chap who wants to work!
TRAINING / Employee needs Happiness @ work & Motivated workforce!!!

Therefore, motivation ends up being a KRA in an unassuming soul’s GOAL SHEET who has no clue what to do to excel at the same! Fun @ work committees at workplace usually comprise young fresh from college crowd who are supposed to relook at work place culture for avenues of boredom & figure out ways to mitigate the same. Here begins the vice!

 

Image from internet – Ref unavailable

There is surely no malice in intent of keeping us employees happy! The thought that employees are social beings who deserve some respite in the place they spend a majority of their waking hours is not at all incorrect. But making employees spend time at work which makes him spread out his work hour calendar more at the cost of his me-time defeats the purpose for which he came to work itself. After all, if he/she has no time to spend the money they earn, see the daylight, play with kids & see the sunset, what’s the point anyway?

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2 responses to “Fun @ Workplace :))

  1. @ Ashwini

    Thanks for reading through it. There is a premise that people go to work, TO WORK. Also, happiness is not the same for everyone. It is unfair to treat every employee with a template behaviour..

  2. This is so true. Sometimes, these ‘Fun @ Work’ activities sort of become compulsory, with HR literally pulling employees out of their seats to a F@W activity because some big-shot is supposed to be present there. Most would rather finish work early, leave for home and have fun with people who really matter to them, like family/ friends.

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