Understanding the ‘Laws of Fun’ can change workplace

Julie Kemple
Guest Columnist

We call them “Laws of Fun” but really, they are universal truths that must happen to infuse play into a workplace and shift culture. We talk about them in detail in our book, “Playing it Forward” but here they are to get the ball rolling.

Leadership buy-in

This concept really applies to any significant impact within a workplace. If the leaders are not supporting it AND participating, it just won’t work. And to clarify, when we say “buy-in,” we don’t mean a rubber stamp of approval for some company to “entertain the minions.” We mean leadership is actively involved.
Follow the ‘3 Cs’

• Fun should happen consistently! We encourage clients to talk up an event well before it happens, via email or a note on a bulletin board or even an invite dropped on their desk. Then follow it up the event by sharing stories and photos. If you do this well, it will feel like fun is happening all the time.

• Workplace fun really should happen during company time. Fun becomes more valuable when employees are offered a brief 15- to 20-minute activity during work hours as opposed to a traditional “command performance” after hours or on the weekend.

• Fun should be culturally compliant. This means HR gives it a thumbs-up! Maybe this sounds like a no-brainer but we have seen it all and know that a crucial aspect of fun is designing it to be all-inclusive and non-threatening.

Fun for the senses!

How does it sound, look, feel, taste, and smell? We play music in nearly 100 percent of our events! We adjust the volume as needed in shared work spaces of course, but we know music sets the tone and the mood of an activity. In fact, at a conference we hosted, we had one of the main speakers come up and say we had the best playlist of ANY conference she’s ever attended. How’s that for confirmation?

Julie Kemple is chief entertainment officer at The Fun Dept.,a Wilmington-based consulting firm.

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