Forced Fun: Is it Working Yet?

You must have fun!

I worked for an organisation that believed in having fun at work.  If you were having fun you were happy and if you were happy you were engaged and if you were engaged you were productive (or so the logic went).

To make sure we were all having fun we had a fun budget, so we could legitimately spend money and time having fun:

  • We went to amusement parks
  • We went on boat trips
  • We spent a lot of time in the pub
  • We even bought a stomp rocket

We made sure we spent our fun budget every year, down to the last penny.

Did it work?

Not really.  We were spending it on the wrong things.  Instead of asking what we could do that was fun, we should have asked what got in the way of us having fun.

Maybe if we had spent our time and effort solving those issues we would have had much more fun, and been much more engaged and been much more productive.

Let’s be honest, forced fun isn’t… Is it?

Except when the stomp rocket knocked over the COO’s cup of tea; that was very funny… after he had gone.

Forced Fun at Work

Read another opinion

Image by Nabeel H


  1. Hello James
    Excellent post – there is profound Zen like wisdom here if we have the ears to listen to it. Your post reminds me about the other absurdities:

    – For heavens sake be spontaneous now!
    – Managers that kick-off collaboration drives through top down command and control instructions and management style;
    – Wanting innovation and yet rewarding conformity ….

    All the best for this New Year.


  2. Hi James,
    This makes me think of just celebrating love on valentine’s day or even going to church on a sunday…….these things shouldn’t be ‘boxed’ up. Surely, fun, love, faith is not a timetabled thing like a meeting it’s an pervasive attitude.


  3. James..

    I agree 100% with your post. Employees can see through “fun” that is not genuine and just another activity on a checklist for employee engagement. Instead, they want to see management work and resolve the real problems that make their lives easier on a day to day basis.

    Thanks for starting the conversation.


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