Everyone wants to work at a fun office. If you have to spend 40+ hours a week there why not have some fun? I would argue that if you aren’t having some kind of fun at work, you should leave.
Unfortunately, a lot of people associate fun at work with slides and ping-pong tables but fun can be much more subtle. Maybe it’s your co-worker who vocalizes slightly inappropriate but hilarious comments on the latest corporate communication. Or maybe it’s the annual picnic where everyone plays kickball or some other horrible bring-back-the-high-school-memories sport.
My point is that fun comes in different varieties and you don’t need to put a slide in your office to promote a fun place to work.
The flip side of the fun at work equation is that not everyone has a fun personality. I’m talking about the Stanley Hudson’s of the world. If you aren’t familiar with Stanley Hudson’s character on The Office watch this short video:
Everyone at The Office gets involved in the craziness, but Stanley just continues to do his own thing (usually a cross-word puzzle). His character can be relied on to add some down-to-earth straight talk to the office, consistently points out how off-base Michael (his boss) is and just adds to that quirky office culture at Dunder Mifflin.
Doesn’t every office need a Stanley?
Maybe. Stanley probably wouldn’t be a fit for the Google/Silicon Valley start-up’s but what office doesn’t want a competent account who is more interested in work than goofing off? If we put too much emphasis on cultural “fit” during the hiring process we miss out on the Stanley’s of the world.
Someone with a “fun” personality is a great addition to the team but adding one more criteria to the hiring process is cumbersome and ripe for inadvertent discrimination. Many companies are obsessed with hiring for “fit” and I get that. We don’t want to hire assholes. But teams need all kinds of diversity: experience, ethnicity, gender, background, etc;
A fun personality shouldn’t turn into one more line of hiring criteria. Otherwise we miss the Stanley’s of the world.