The Counter-Intuitive Secret to Success in the Workplace

Allen Voivod
December 18, 2008 — 2,218 views  
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My whole philosophy about fun in the world of business, and in relation to the executive, management, and professional audience is this: If you don't enjoy what you're doing, is it worth doing?

Because the higher up you go, the easier it is to think that you have to get more "serious" about the work you do. Well, you were "serious" about it when you were lower down the totem pole, weren't you? And you were still having fun then.

A lot of this has to do with responsibility. As we add on more, we often feel as though "fun" becomes responsibility's polar opposite. And it even starts at an early age. When we teach our children about responsibility, it's often a very serious thing, and rarely connected with having fun. Seriously. When's the last time you ever heard of a kid's board game with "Responsibility" in the title?

Of course, that's just the personal side of things. There's a business side, too, and here's my take on that. Rather than promoting goofiness for the sake of wasting time, the point is that laughter and fun is just as important to the success of an employee and a business as the metrics.

And it's not just me claiming that fun makes you better as an employee and as a manager, and makes your company better as well. Staffing firm Robert Half International did a survey called "Work and Humor Do Mix," and one of the findings they reported was this: "Ninety-seven percent of professionals polled feel it is important for managers to have a sense of humor." 97%! There's not even a question about that result!

In 2003, Leading Today published a piece on their website about the benefits of a "happy" workplace, and couched it in language that any corporation would be hard-pressed to ignore: "Imagine a work world where people love their work environment, and they are calm, stress-free and happy all day long. People who are in good spirits are more likely to be productive. Their mental attitude produces increased oxygen, endorphins, and blood flow to the brain, which enables them to think more clearly and creatively."

How could a company NOT want that kind of environment for their professionals to work in? And how can you, as a professional, not want to be a part of that environment?

In fact, and more to the point, how can you as a professional not want to CREATE that kind of environment within your company?

Have fun. It's good for you, it's good for your job, it's good for your company. Period.

About the Author

Allen Voivod is the Chief Blogger for, the leading resume distribution resource for managers, executives, and professionals looking to accelerate their job search results. Get the attention of thousands of hiring agents with the largest and most frequently updated recruiter database on the web, and dive into a wealth of immediately useful career articles and blog posts - all at !

Allen Voivod