Is it Fun or is it Wasteful?

One of our strategies is: The day we stop learning and the day we stop having fun is the day we re-evaluate our purpose.  This correlates to the saying, “Follow your bliss.”  If work is fun, you never work a day in your life.  There was a time years ago when my staff was stressed from long hours.  We are driven.  We watch our time goals, set objectives and hold people accountable.  My staff reminded me of the above strategy and wondered if I forgot it.  At that time I reevaluated.  I changed things.  One of those things was to be a little more lenient and have more fun in our meetings.  Meetings were tough.  If you didn’t participate you were called out.  If you went off the agenda you were called on it.  There were some smiles, but they weren’t that fun.

In some of our current meetings we do a lot of fun things.  We talk about funny movies, we write down anything pithy that was said in the meeting, we wander about a bit and we get work done.  I am also somewhat scatter brained.  My mind wanders.  I work on focusing.  Yet, some of the wandering brings new ideas to the table.  It informs my staff on how I’m thinking about business at the moment.  We also talk about what is going on in our lives.  I enjoy my team and work is fun.  I also know my staff, especially the salaried folks, will occasionally work on their own time.  I am grateful and want to make sure that life isn’t only serious when they are on company time.

For me, as the company owner, who lives the business 24/7, I’m ok with a little wastefulness from the 8:00 – 5:00 time period.  I know I will give that back 10 fold.  Therefore, I created a lifestyle choice in my work.  I want to be around creative, fun, hard working people.  Work must be fun in order to give my life and soul to it.  I may need to be reminded this isn’t true for staff.  They want to go home at the end of the day.  So, when they are here they want to get work done.  I was recently told meetings go off track all the time and it is a little frustrating.

Now I wonder if we have swung too far in the opposite direction and need to be more serious.  Those that wander through TSI note how everyone seems happy.  Yet, are we being wasteful?  Does fun and workplace camaraderie lead to a better product for our clients?

What do you think?  Would it frustrate you if meetings went off track from time to time?

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