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Does Having Fun Make IT More Enjoyable?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 8 years ago | from the laughter-is-the-best-medicine dept.

It's funny.  Laugh. 249

Lam1969 writes "ComputerWorld is running an article stating that some senior managers in IT think the answer to boosting morale is to have more fun on the job. The IT managers interviewed for the article claim making people laugh contributes to successful businesses and reduces turnover. How do you have fun? According to the article, Dale Sanders, head of IT at Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, 'has posted photos on the intranet of staffers caught in awkward moments installing cables or servers, for instance. Sanders encourages others to add funny (and tasteful) captions.' John Wade, CIO at Saint Luke's Health System Inc., sometimes dresses in drag and encourages other unusual behavior. Other potential tactics for laughs include encouraging self-expression, encouraging 'serious play', and asking potential hires their favorite funny movies or comedians."

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Ummmmm Yes? (5, Insightful)

BWJones (18351) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333862)

Does having fun make ANY job more enjoyable?.................. *yes*.

Re:Ummmmm Yes? (5, Funny)

quokkapox (847798) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333892)

Yes, that is a universal principle. At the office, I've instructed my staff to give every 100th Big Mac "extra-special" treatment.

No, No, No.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333901)

You've got it all wrong.

Clearly, the title was referring to It - from the Stephen King novel.

Creepy clowns... I find them to be neither fun nor enjoyable.

Re:Ummmmm Yes? (4, Funny)

IntelliTubbie (29947) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333939)

Does having fun make ANY job more enjoyable?.................. *yes*.

So in this case, does IT stand for "Information Tautology"?

Cheers,
IT

Re:Ummmmm Yes? (1)

Weird_one (86883) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334133)

nay, it's just the editors loosing capitalization skills like the previously lost anti-dupe skills, grammer skills, and spelling skills.

Re:Ummmmm Yes? (1)

Geoffreyerffoeg (729040) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334136)

it's just the editors loosing capitalization

Heh. You know what they say about the pot calling the ketle black.

Re:Ummmmm Yes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334167)

Uhhhh, kettle?

Re:Ummmmm Yes? (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333984)

My coworkers and I have a great time at work. In fact, that is the only reason I am not really looking for another job and probably why I am still there. We just hired a hardware guy from another department, he too has commented many times that he actually enjoys coming to work now. The guy I replaced took another job for about 15K year more and he left only because of some differences with the IT manager, he would come back at his old pay if she ever left. People have reasons for staying and leaving, our IT manager is the definate odd man/woman out and a definate negative across the board with all of us. We overcome that though and we enjoy our time because WE make it enjoyable, our fun did not come down from above as a directive that we "should promote some fun" with a benefit analysis and it was not a "follow the leader" either.

Re:Ummmmm Yes? (2, Interesting)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334142)

"I have a great time at work..."

I hear ya...and agree with you...fun at IT jobs DO help things.

My first IT job years ago was a great atmosphere. Our BU mgr. basically gave us programmers carte blanche to do what we wanted...as long as the work was done on time and done well. We spent lunch hours that ran over quite a bit over an hour each day playing Descent, Duke Nuke'em...and other games over the network...with speakers at full blast and all the yelling and all that went with it. No problems.

We'd take breaks....play hacky sack outside our cubes. Hell...we were in a new bldg....and had scuffed up the walls with our dress shoes (dressy casual there). The bldg. admin had gotten in a huff...dragged us all in with the BU leader to chew us out....before she could get up and and start bitching...he stood up and said, "hey guys..play that outside...or just be careful not to scuff the walls.....and dismissed us without any scolding.

This is the same place that would send our team out twice a year, during the day, with pay on the company dollar to team building days....these involved all day tubing trips down the buffalo river...ski days at a lake, bowling...lazer tag..keg parties for the whole company (I think was a few 1000 people then)....etc.

I gotta say..we were the tightest team...got many things done way ahead of time and ahead of schedule...they paid for us to have fun, and let us be adults about how we used our time...and it paid off.

I think tho...they finally dropped out of that mode after I left...it is a shame..I seriously doubt they got more response and work out of people acting like every other company....

I don't understand why more companies, even ones that get big, don't just try to let people enjoy their jobs, have fun....etc. If they abuse the privileges...then can them, but, as long as the job is done...let them do it 'their way'.

Re:Ummmmm Yes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334090)

Does having fun make ANY job more enjoyable?.................. *yes*.

Not as much as .................... MONEY!

Re:Ummmmm Yes? (2, Insightful)

mnmn (145599) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334113)

I have lots of fun working at a high paying job. I'll have MORE fun with higher income.

Re:Ummmmm Yes? (2, Insightful)

sigloiv (870394) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334135)

At the same time, this reminds me a lot of the hilarious series The Office. I mean, just because a boss is trying to be funny and cheer everyone up, doesn't mean he's succeeding...

Strange questions (2, Interesting)

Da3vid (926771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333865)

Does having more fun make it more enjoyable? It doesn't seem to be to be a very big stretch at all to define "fun" as that which is enjoyable. So, if you are having more fun, isn't it more enjoyable? This question seems easily answered by definitions alone.

-Da3vid-

Re:Strange questions (1)

stavromueller (934803) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334143)

**cough**somebody missed the abbreviation pun**cough**

Re:Strange questions (1)

blincoln (592401) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334175)

Yes. I think a better question would be "why do the people who enjoy work have fun doing it?"

I've been relatively fortunate in terms of the jobs I've had, but in my experience fun was basically the default result of skilled people working in a relaxed environment doing things that they liked.

I would think that a lack of fun is not an indication that there needs to be management-approved funny websites on the intranet, but that something is wrong with the department or company. Maybe the workload is too high. Maybe pay is too low. Maybe there are too many overly negative people.

There seems to be some kind of mentality in corporate managers that they need more complicated solutions to problems, when really they could just ask their staff - privately and confidentially - and get better answers. Are your employees seeming down? Ask them why, and make it clear that what they say is off the record. Do you want to know what they're spending the most time working on? Ask them instead of spending millions of dollars on fancy applications that give you a bar graph to look at.

MOD THE TROLL DOWN!!! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333868)

MOD THE TROLL DOWN!!!

MOD THE TROLL UP!!! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334099)

MOD THE TROLL UP!!!

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333870)

No

Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333874)

Think of the thousands of $$$ these guys spent on getting MBAs to come up with this...

Re:Wow... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333906)

But they sure had 'fun' using other's grant money to fund the study.

Improving Morale (4, Insightful)

mordors9 (665662) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333880)

This seems like a great idea. Improve everyone's morale by making fun of people. I can't believe it would be too long before someone's feeling are hurt by the made up captions provided by other employees. We certainly wouldn't to go to the effort and cost of providing decent pay, decent benefits, and treating employees like valued members of the company as a way to improve morale.

Re:Improving Morale (1)

sfled (231432) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333941)


Absolutely right. The picture/caption posting will last right up until someone posts a manager inserting its head up its own ass.

Re:Improving Morale (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334063)

Absolutely right. The picture/caption posting will last right up until someone posts a manager inserting its head up its own ass.

That's because that's considered leaking secrets on how they're managing the war on terror. Don't you know you're helping the terrorists by discussing it? Please take a number and line up for the next bus to gitmo.

Re:Improving Morale (3, Interesting)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333982)

That's one of the things I see often in a lot of these companies that praise "motivational techniques" in their HR departments; they don't ACTUALLY consider their employees valuable. I think this causes a vicious cycle as well: turnover increases due to the fact that employees don't feel important, and the managers then don't see employees as being important because they'll probably be gone in a month anyway. So they try to place the blame elsewhere, on "bad attitudes", not having enough "fun" on the job, etc., where the real problem is that the employees just aren't being respected as individuals by their superiors.

I found this to be worst when I was working at a call center; I swear, upper and middle management treated people there like children more than respected employees. Immediate supervisors were often easy to deal with, but when the problem starts from the top, it's nearly impossible to stop.

Re:Improving Morale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334107)

As long as they're only making fun of stupid people, I'm ok with it.

Stupid people, in my mind, shouldn't be considered people at all.

Well DUH... (1)

kcbrown (7426) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333886)

Let's see...do people prefer to work a job that's boring and/or frustrating, or one that's fun? Do they prefer to sit there with a dumb look on their face or to laugh?

I dunno, that's a tough one...someone help me out here...

(That was sarcasm, in case someone out there didn't figure that out)

Re:Well DUH... (1)

rbarreira (836272) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333985)

(That was sarcasm, in case someone out there didn't figure that out)

Why do I only see remarks like this on Slashdot?

Monty Python? (2, Insightful)

Jetson (176002) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333887)

Other potential tactics for laughs include encouraging self-expression, encouraging 'serious play', and asking potential hires their favorite funny movies or comedians.

So how long before "Monty Python" is added to the Comp.Sci. curriculum at the local university? I'm all for having a fun and enjoyable workplace, but I'm not sure I want my professional qualifications trumped by whether or not the interviewer agrees with my sense of humour.

Re:Monty Python? (2, Insightful)

JamesWJohnson (928735) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334008)

If a prospective Computer Science major isn't already familiar with Monty Python (to the extent that they can at least quote the opening scene of The Holy Grail) by the time they enter college, they have no business being a Comp Sci major to begin with.

Re:Monty Python? (4, Funny)

ChairmanMeow (787164) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334028)

As long as "CS251: Introduction to Funny Walks" remains an elective, I'm fine with it.

Re:Monty Python? (0, Troll)

cperciva (102828) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334051)

As long as "CS251: Introduction to Funny Walks" remains an elective, I'm fine with it.

I'm not, and you shouldn't be either. If half of the people graduating with the same degree as you reached that point by taking basket-weaving courses, potential employers are going to decide that your degree is worthless -- even if you happen to be someone who didn't take any basket-weaving courses.

It is in the interests of students (both present and past) to ensure that their institution maintains or increases its academic standards, since their degrees will otherwise be devalued. (See also: medieval guilds.)

Re:Monty Python? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334129)

It's silly walks, not funny walks.

Or maybe it's just the University screwing up the name again. Like one course at Penn State is "Introduction to Algrithmic Processes." That title hurts my sense of English. What's wrong with "Introduction to Algorithms"? (The fact that it's a sucky title to begin with given the content of the course is another matter...)

tantra (5, Funny)

The Clockwork Troll (655321) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333894)

I practice Tantric IT, wherein you purposely try to postpone job enjoyment as long as possible.

They say it fosters a more special bond between you and your employer.

Raising morale (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333896)

I like to laugh. A lot. I kid around more than any other person at my office.

I would just like to note that taking photos of your co-workers caught in akward situations sounds to me more like something that will lower morale than anything. So if you think they look funny the way they have to bend over while running cables, don't capture it so that everyone can laugh.

Unless you want those cables wrapped around your neck.

How about.... (5, Interesting)

ShatteredDream (636520) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333902)

You be as understanding as possible with them when they need to take care of their families

How about accepting a little less profit as a price to pay for supporting good workers in your community (and companies need help defending and encouraging this practice)

How about getting rid of employees, especially managers, that are abusive and/or want to build little fiefdoms

Lastly, how about you take the bitter employees who like to complain about every little perceived slight and fire their asses ASAP for being disruptive. I know my girlfriend, who works as a softare developer and hates working for women, would back this wholeheartedly, but perhaps that's because it'd be the cause of most of her female peers getting fired on the spot.

Look, work is typically what we wouldn't do if given the choice not to do it. That's why it's called work, it's supposed to be laborious and when it's not, you've got something great going for you. The best way to keep good people is to protect them, challenge them and give them excellent opportunities to get rewarded for working hard for their employer. You can let them play Halo for an hour a day on company time, but if they still work for a typical good ol' boy network and/or hyper-PC office or a PHB with sociopathic tendencies, you'll never have the kind of work environment that can match the aforementioned environment that makes work be work, but makes people feel like they get something good and safe from their blood, sweat and tears.

Re:How about.... (2, Funny)

offlerthecrocgod (563497) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334030)

You have a girlfriend who works as a programmer? Is your relationship about to break up?

Oh yeah, boy, do these guys have a sense of humor (1)

glengineer (697939) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333903)

staffers caught in awkward moments installing cables or servers

Oh, yeah, I've pissed my pants laughing at techs in "awkward moments" installing servers. Yawn. Well, at least maybe they'll win $100K on America's Funniest Home Videos for the crap they serve up there as funny.

Re:Oh yeah, boy, do these guys have a sense of hum (1)

exspecto (513607) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334166)

Peein' your pants is the coolest!

I find... (1)

undone (81872) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333904)

that when companies recognize and reward effort, it tends to make the job more enjoyable. It also helps if they get rid of those that don't put forth any effort.

Sure, being able to enjoy your job and have fun is good, but I think the first thing is being able to do your job without having to mop up after someone else. After that, you break out the arrows that go through your head.

Southwest Airlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333911)

Southwest has had this strategy for years. Must be why they are posting profits when all other airlines are sinking into debt.

That's not the only reason. (4, Insightful)

artifex2004 (766107) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334075)

Southwest has had this strategy for years. Must be why they are posting profits when all other airlines are sinking into debt.


They also tend to only hire people who are nice, willing to help others, and are always respectful to others in the company. According to mythos, sometimes managers will pretend to be prospective applicants, and walk in and sit with the real ones, to watch them. There have been applicants at the final level who have lost the job because they were rude to a secretary.

And really, except for the mechanics on the field, nobody there is in a job where training and experience could absolutely trump being nice, thoughtful and being able to learn. And even the mechanics, you want to have caring and thinking about the people in the planes. That probably also contributed to why they lasted so long without a plane crash.

It makes sense, doesn't it? It's a lot easier to enjoy your work environment if you don't hire jerks. :)

Had a boss who tried that (1)

heroine (1220) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333912)

He lasted longer than most of them but was fired after 2 years. Morale is a function of a lot more than a preprinted sheet of funny interview questions or a corporate approved list of funny movies.

Better morale techniques are giving people the opportunity to get more out of their day job than a dumpy apartment or a better quality of life than they had 5 years ago. A popular technique in consumer electronics is to let people design things they'll actually want to use.

Trust in Employees (2, Insightful)

iONiUM (530420) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333915)

I think the biggest problem is that a lot of IT companies don't trust their employees enough to allow them more free time on the job.

Where I work, we have a 7 foot projector with Xbox and Xbox360 hooked up, and frequently a few employees will go and play games against each other for an hour or two.

Does work still get done? Of course. But nobody likes to work all the time, and video games are a good alternative to say surfing aimlessly around the web, because this way you get to leave the desk and interact with co-workers.

Why so many companies seem to think you *have* to work every minute you're there baffles me, it's very unproductive. As for the state of my company, we're #1 in our field, and doubling growth every year. It's a mid-size company, and maybe that's why this works, it's small enough that the employees feel (and are rewarded) regarding to company success.

Re:Trust in Employees (2, Interesting)

jammindice (786569) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334057)

i'd have to agree, our company is still a small business and there is still a lot of trust between the owner and all of us employee types. We are all very dedicated to expanding the company due to the rewards we all receive based on the success of the business. I've only been there a year but have had quite a few bonuses come my way "just because" we reached a milestone as a company (like 50 clients, a new record monthly income, etc...). our main attraction happens to be a foosball (foozball or however the hell you spell it) table, a projector with dvd player, and a mini putting green in our office.

We all play regularly, as well as haing movie days where we watch a movie once a month and have pizza for lunch. The company also pays for a night out about once a month where we all go to the pool hall across the way and have a few beers and play pool, the only female employee even get's into it!!

Our company has also seen an exponential growth over the last 2 years, going from roughly 20 clients to over 125 recently, most of it not only comes from our desire to be the best at what we do, our outstanding customer satisfaction, or refferals from our customers, but because our work environment happens to be so forgiving. One of my co-workers actually brought in a remote control motorcycle that we all took turns running around the office for about a half hour...

Though foosball hppens to be our favorite pastime recently, veryone enjoys themselves most thouroughly playing a few games a day, as well as sparking some friendly competition (amazingly enough the boss man gets the most pissed off when he looses, slamming the rods that hold the players into the sides of the table and even kicking the entire table once :) fun boss to have though!!!) We are even developing an internal website to track the statistics and see how good (or bad) we are all doing.

Re:Trust in Employees (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334078)

Same here, my last job I had three computers. One windows to play Counter-strike:source or battlefield 2 on, one freebsd machine to do work, check email, etc., and a sun blade for any solaris testing. My windows computer always had a game running, anytime you came into my office. I was the most productive employee on the team, so no one said anything about it.

If there is ever a new (and smarter) head of the department, I will be back in a heartbeat.

Work is fun if... (5, Interesting)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333916)

  • Encourage a relaxed work atmosphere. Allow people to feel free to be themselves and not have to put on an act of phony ass-kissing professionalism.
  • Encourage people to speak their minds and to disagree, but professionally.
  • Weed out employees who can't hack it. Cut down on the support nightmares we all dread.
  • Reward honesty by not punishing mistakes, so long as: (1) corrective action is taken to prevent recurrence; (2) the mistake did not cause a severe impact in the company's bottom line.
  • Eliminate bullshit like software licensing, tracking and auditing. Running everything in an IP-unencumbered fashion to the greatest extent possible will make everyone happier.
  • Pay well, rewarding productivity and innovation. If I invent, suggest, or implement a process that saves the company money, or that brings in more revenue, pay me a bonus in recognition, or a comission on the savings or revenue increase. If you go with the commission, allow it to remain in place as long as the practice is in place, for as long as I remain with the company. If I have to have a non-compete clause, have it last until the non-compete expires.
  • Pay me for on-call time. 1/4 time for merely being on call, 2x time if I get called in for off hours work.
  • If I'm on salary, don't require that I work 40 hours a week, as long as I'm getting my assignments done and being productive for the company (ie, returning more value than I cost the company).
  • No dress codes that discriminate against culture -- and recognize contemporary subcultures, not just traditional national, ethnic, or religious subcultures. Allow people to express themselves through their personal appearance. Don't punish people for wanting to look different or unusual.

Re:Work is fun if... (1)

adam1234 (696497) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333993)

Eliminate bullshit like software licensing, tracking and auditing. Running everything in an IP-unencumbered fashion to the greatest extent possible will make everyone happier.

Your lawyers are going to love that one.

Really, how is blowing off legal licensing and getting sued "fun"? Someone has to be an adult at your company...

Re:Work is fun if... (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334037)

Duh, the grandparent is obviously referring to free software. Someone has to be the adult to throw away proprietary toys.

Re:Work is fun if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334119)

No dress codes that discriminate against culture -- and recognize contemporary subcultures, not just traditional national, ethnic, or religious subcultures. Allow people to express themselves through their personal appearance. Don't punish people for wanting to look different or unusual.

How about everyone wear something professional. No, pajamas or robes, even if religious, are not welcome. I don't want to be distracted by your hate/gloves/collar/necklace/bloody hands/knives.

If you are behind closed doors, away from clients/customers, go and wear whatever you want provided you don't encroach upon decency. Wearing STFU shirts and the like are just as distracting and annoying.

Re:Work is fun if... (1)

dnoyeb (547705) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334139)

I think we had a fun expolsion during the internet boom. Then Management pushed back and we went back to the pre-empowerment days where managers try to _remove_ the fun and run the job like some kind of military exercise. of course productivity is down, but I think in general they are enjoying their iron fist too much to care.

Re:Work is fun if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334140)

And give IT people real toy to work with! I hate to work in my office. I have to use a 16 inch CRT monitor. Some people bring their own flatscreens to work since the company doesn't provide any. The equipment I have at home is by far better what I use in my office.

Re:Work is fun if... (1)

egarland (120202) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334152)

Allow people to feel free to be themselves and not have to put on an act of phony ass-kissing professionalism.

If you have to put on a phony act to be porfessional, maybe a professional position isn't for you. You can be professional while disdagreeing.

I agree with everything else in your post.

Re:Work is fun if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334170)

Encourage people to speak their minds and to disagree, but professionally.

That is way to general a comment to be of any use to anyone. It does not provide any type of reference that someone can use that may want to speak their mind or disagree. Sounds like something you would see in a management 101 text book. Do you have any idea how many people claim to have an open door policy but do not? How many people have you tried to counter points with or suggest an alternative or even try to get them to acknowledge you view of the events or situation in a very professional manner and they are not even really listening to your comments or input as noted by the canned response of "That is the way it is" or a plain old, "I do not agree". Kind of like getting another copy of that TPS Memo. Although I agree with your point, more often then not, your siggestion does not happen.

Reward honesty by not punishing mistakes, so long as: (1) corrective action is taken to prevent recurrence; (2) the mistake did not cause a severe impact in the company's bottom line.

The mistake happened already and can not be changed. Providing a policy that encourages people to lie with your restrictions to cover their ass is not helping you or the company at all. You risk considerable expense and time trying to figure out what happened and more often then not, you may go down the wrong road trying to recover. Now after the fact and assuming someone uncovers the lie, you take corrective action against that person anyway AND you wasted time and money. That being said, you should not punish anyone for a mistake. People should get fired or corrected for a pattern or a general clueless attitude or blatent violation policy, not a mistake. If your supervisor has to answer to someone that does not know you or your work product because of your mistake, he/she could say it was a mistake and your past work history shows no trends to show you are not up to par. Again, more often then not, that does not happen.
I've been in front of a reactor plant control panal many hours and I and everyone has made mistakes. After the recovery and everything is stable we have briefings. For my screwup, I immediately described what I had done without excuses. I know the procedure and policies very well, everyone in the department knows I know them very well. In a split second in the heat of the moment, I made the wrong decision and caused a protective action. Nothing else was said and I returned to the reactor control panal within the hour. If I had a past screw ups, my knowledge level was low, or I was a general fuckup, I should be reviewed further. If I had lied? I would be escorted off of the premises and never have been allowed back in the nuclear field again.

ick. (3, Insightful)

Triv (181010) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333922)

According to the article, Dale Sanders, head of IT at Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, 'has posted photos on the intranet of staffers caught in awkward moments installing cables or servers, for instance. Sanders encourages others to add funny (and tasteful) captions.'

Know the easiest way to suck the fun out of a situation? Have it encouraged by management. Fun just happens. Make it a policy, and it becomes work again.

Re:ick. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334003)

Or, (some dude behind a desk)'s idea of what fun is is pushed on everyone else. e.g. why in the hell would I want to go play softball on my off hours or something, as if I don't have a life outside my job? Because somebody thinks it's "fun" and tells me it's "fun".

I have had such experiences in the past, and am very fortunate to have a job now that I would consider to be "fun."

Is this post pretty silly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333934)

Ok, again, from the OED:

fun - noun - enjoyment, amusement, or lighthearted pleasure : the children were having fun in the play area | anyone who turns up can join in the fun. a source of this : people-watching is great fun. playful behavior or good humor : she's full of fun. behavior or an activity that is intended purely for amusement and should not be interpreted as having serious or malicious purposes : it was nothing serious; they just enjoyed having some harmless fun. [ attrib. ] (of a place or event) providing entertainment or leisure activities for children : a 33-acre movie-themed fun park.

DUH!

Isn't always good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333938)

I had a boss recently who thought it was his responsibility to keep the workplace a 'fun' place, he just wasn't very good at it. His antics simply frustrated myself and the other employees who were simply trying to get the work done, to the point that we got more work done when he wasn't in than when he was. There is a line between 'having fun to increase productivity' and 'having so much fun that you prevent productivity', and it's a damn fine one. My boss crossed it and never even realised, I can't help but wonder if others will as well as a result of this kind of report.

Duh! but that's not all that counts.... (2, Interesting)

evenprime (324363) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333940)

Of course a fun work environment is more enjoyable. I've worked in an IT company though, that was lots of fun, without being very productive. The company doesn't exist anymore.

Fun doesn't pay the bills. Think of it as a nice fringe benefit, but not something more than that. I

depends (1)

Decaff (42676) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333944)

depends whose fun and morale you are talking about. I know many IT people who's morale is improved by allowing them to make others have less fun....

Well, I know from my experience (2, Interesting)

radiotyler (819474) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333958)

From my experience working a crappy entry level tech support position, stuff like cube warfare [thinkgeek.com] can make all the difference between hating the customers you're on the phone with, and actually wanting to help them configure Outlook Express (for the 3rd time).

As I moved up in the IT world, and moved through different companies and positions the trusty Nerf Vortex guns came with me. There's always someone who appreciates a good cube shootout as much as I do, wherever I go.

Re:Well, I know from my experience (1)

mikefe (98074) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334124)

What ever happened to good ole rubber band shooting?

A few related analogies... (3, Insightful)

volve (592475) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333963)

* Does breathing make living more enjoyable?
* Does having paint make being a painter more enjoyable?
* Does having a computer make developing software more enjoyable?

I could go on, but I think we've all paid this post far too much heed as it is.

-volve

pretty sad (2, Funny)

mixenmaxen (857917) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333966)

It's christmas eve, and I'm spending my time commenting on slashdot... Now that's no laughing matter.

Even Sadder....... (1)

Rank_Tyro (721935) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334089)

I'm moderating.

Miserable Workers Are Better (2, Insightful)

kid-noodle (669957) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333972)

At least according to a study [sciencedaily.com] from the University of Alberta.

Summary being that sad workers make less errors, presumably because they focus harder to block out the relentless hell of their lives.

Re:Miserable Workers Are Better (2, Insightful)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334157)

Your title is off, it's sad workers are better (according to some studies) than happy workers. Miserable workers, I imagine, are even lower than both groups, and much more likely to go postal on their co-workers. Do you really want the people that support your systems and networks to be in horrible moods, and potentially sabotaging things?

In the first study, sad people committed significantly fewer errors than did happy people (approximately half the number of errors) but there was no difference in the number of boards completed. Thus, sad people were more productive.

In menial tasks this may hold true, but in high-level thinking tasks worrying about personal bills and other issues can't be a net-gain. If anything, unhappy and worried workers are worse at such tasks. If your boss is thinking about his nasty divorce case he's not thinking about the business.

Merry Christmas, you nerdy fucks. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333976)

And remember, Jesus loves you. But I think you're all pricks.

ny mta (1)

pintomp3 (882811) | more than 8 years ago | (#14333986)

so all the transit workers union wanted was for someone to make fun of them? could have avoided that strike with a fake moustache on the union president i guess. seriously, it shouldn't take a premeditated management decision to create a relaxed atmosphere. perhaps the employees would like adaquate pay and reasonable pension and health. maybe a little respect too. btw, i'm assuming "fun" makes all employees happier, not just IT. i guess it's cheaper to create a funny ofoto album than to increase wages or not decrease benefits.

Crack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14333997)

"has posted photos on the intranet of staffers caught in awkward moments installing cables or servers"

I hope it wasn't a fat guy bent over showing some crack

Does Having Fun Make [insert word] More Enjoyable? (2, Funny)

Fritzed (634646) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334001)

YES!

Worst, Headline, Ever.

-> Fritz

Heh. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334011)

"Does Having Fun Make IT More Enjoyable?"

That's like saying, "Does having a penis make sex more pleasurable?"

Does Having Fun Make IT More Enjoyable? (2, Insightful)

micrometer2003 (715068) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334012)

I'm 60. 30 years ago it was the coolest thing to be doing. I had a sense of growth, future, learning and making an important contributions. I bought terminal with my own money to work from home! What killed it? Greedy, arrogant bosses who just politick their way up. Insecure techies who hide code, secrets and, possibly evidence of their own lack of expertise. Distrustful managers who want you to fix broken fund transfer links but without any ID's or passwords. Getting reamed for wanting to really improve matters by cleaning up the code I have to repair at 3 am. Big companies actually wanted us to keep track of and maintain LINE NUMBERS in the code which contributed nothing.

Does Having Fun Make IT More Enjoyable? (2, Interesting)

johncadengo (940343) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334013)

Does Having Fun Make IT More Enjoyable?

Is having fun enjoyable? Read what you just wrote.

You can answer that for yourself, right?

Fun or funny? (2, Interesting)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334049)

There's also the difference between fun and funny. Some of the suggestions seem like they're trying to use funny things to enforce fun in dull situations, which in my experience is a bad idea.

Umm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334014)

Yes.

Dooohhhh... !! (1)

Apollux (940906) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334031)

The title, thats a retorical question, right?

Keep it real. (4, Insightful)

capologist (310783) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334038)

I've worked at places that did this well, and I've worked at places that did it poorly.

At a place that did it poorly, the employer tried to "lighten up" the place with all kinds of stupid shtick and encouraging the employees to get into the act. Naturally, employees felt pressured to participate and to pretend to think it was fun, when it wasn't. (Cue Bill Lumbergh saying, "Friday is Hawaiian shirt day, so, you know, if you want to you can go ahead and wear a Hawaiian shirt, and jeans.") This didn't exactly improve morale.

If you want to reduce stress, give your employees the freedom to be themselves. This starts with you being yourself. Don't try to be funny if you have no sense of humor, but if you do have one, use it. Don't try to be silly if you're naturally stoic by demeanor. Don't try to be a cheerleader if that's not who you are. If you're anything but genuine, and you have smart employees, they'll sense it, and that sends the message that this is what's expected, and your employees will feel stressed by it, though they may be unable to articulate the source of the stress (even to themselves). So just let your natural personality shine through.

Unless, of course, you're naturally a complete jerk. In that case, the best thing to do is to shoot yourself in the head. Your employees will love you for it.

I used to read Dilbert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334040)

I used to read Dilbert for fun. But with my current job I have so much fun trying to get some reasonable behaviour out of WebSphere Application Server 4.0 and WebSphere Portal Server 4.2.1, that I am known company-wide for my hysterical laughter. Sometimes a coworker says something completely innocent, like: "when we upgrade to WAS 5 ...", and I almost faint from the cramps of laughter while rolling of my chair down onto the floor.

I no longer read Dilbert. It's dull in comparison with real life. It's like cutting yourself with a pocket knife to distract yourself from the pain you feel from having been run over by a truck.

Down, not across!

Fun Suggestions (1)

tengu1sd (797240) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334047)

Does having fun make the job [ntk.net] more enjoyable. Is fun enjoyable in other words? And senior management is looking at this program?

Is there any grant money available, I have an proposal for a study. It will take a few years, require international travel to get a good subject sample. It'll have to be repeated before publication of course.

Are there any volunteers out there who'd like to be subjected to fun?

We'd go insane without... (1)

jrmiller84 (927224) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334048)

Homestar Runner, Maddox, David Firth, and soundboards. I work as an IT Admin at Rhino Video Games and we have an awesome time just messing around on the forums and video sites. It helps us "bond" as a department and we feel like family. We have many inside jokes and sayings that keep us in good spirits all the time. Oh, and sure we get a lot of work done ;) hah!

OA5 (4, Interesting)

DarkIye (875062) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334050)

Myself, I subscribe to Scott Adams 'OA5' company philosophy. Basically, nothing can make work more fun than its alternative, not working - that's why they have to pay you for it. So basically, the aim is to get the employee working as efficiently as possible by getting managers to remove obstructions to their productivity, and Out At 5 (hence the acronym). Managers don't waste their time with thinking up stupid morale-boosting techniques (just read any Adams book for excellent examples) and spend more time 'managing', also known as 'something useful'.

Frankly, the only companies that can and should be trying to improve the morale of their employees (I mean the grunts, not the management) with techniques other than money or free time, are the ones with proper mechanisms are in place where smart people get to decision-making positions. Come to think of it, there probably isn't much to be done on the morale front there anyway.

Umm.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334053)

John Wade, CIO at Saint Luke's Health System Inc., sometimes dresses in drag and encourages other unusual behavior That kind of hilarity I can pretty much do without. Especially if the "encouraged other unusual behavior" is at his place after 10 beers & poppers...

Yeah... (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334062)

John Wade, CIO at Saint Luke's Health System Inc., sometimes dresses in drag and encourages other unusual behavior.

That's not to make work more fun, he just has "issues." Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Anybody remember Mr. Show? (1)

niktemadur (793971) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334073)

TFA reminds me of Greg Sniper, AKA Grass Valley Greg, the man who invented the Delete button. His company's motto was "Where ideas can hang out...and do whatever!" GVG made his employees take tofutti ice cream breaks whenever HE felt like it. There was a poster in the workplace that read "Arbeit ist spiel", "Work is play".

If I remember correctly, the sketch was based on a Microsoft executive that made his employees listen to Jimi Hendrix...whether they liked it or not.

Loving your job is a blessing from above... (2, Interesting)

Thaidog (235587) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334079)

Very few do in the IT world. Most people are not happy until they have a certain $$$ figure with their job. Little do these people know that $$$ does not always come hand in hand with respect.

which fun (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334084)

no fun in /bin /sbin /usr/bin /usr/sbin /usr/local/bin

make fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334093)

make: *** No rule to make target `fun'. Stop.

kill fun (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334104)

-bash: kill: fun: no such pid

echo fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334118)

$ echo fun fun $ echo fun fun $ echo fun fun

yes fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334153)

fun
fun
fun
fun
fun
fun
...

Moral Booster (1)

Scott Swezey (678347) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334088)

Forgive me from my comments, I just had a shitty day at work (Costco, boxing stuff for members), and have to admit that ive never had issues with customers before today. Anyways, on with the post

A) Since this is IT, fire moron people who pull stupid shit and waste your time. ie, an idiot keeps getting email viruses from personal email. or, if your working with customers like me... Cancel their membership and remind him of what an ass he is (And I know that ppl will say that this would be bad, but this dude took lots of time, pissed off both the cashier and I, and was overly unpleasent. Him, his family and his friends wont detract largely from the 100k we generate in an hour)

B) Take pictures of the employee/customer from answer A of you strangling them with a computer cord, then let the staff add funny captions or comments to them. Or, if you work at costco like me, smash their eggs/bread, and make sure their chicken gets grease all over the new cloths they bought (after the transaction is complete, of course), then have their membership cancelled.

Customer Service blows
-------------
By the way, if any of the morons I had to deal with today are reading this, I will A) Assume i've lost my job, not that I care at this point, and B) want to wish you a Merry Christmas, err, excuse me, "Happy Holidays"!!

my boss has a great time and laughs alot too.. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334091)

like every time I ask about bonuses or when their going to lift the salary freeze from 2001 "becuase times WERE tough".

Office Space (1)

Toba82 (871257) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334101)

This fun-from-above standpoint is akin to "expressing yourself" by wearing your 35 pieces of flair.

Fun that is fun because it's fun is fun. Fun that is fun because the boss says so is not.

Improved morale and good chemistry... (1)

Vexler (127353) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334110)

I currently work in a higher-ed environment, and one way that our team stays relaxed and ready at the same time is by spending time with each other. I know this sounds a bit corny, but if you like the people you work with, then you enjoy spending time with them. Part of improving morale is knowing that there are actually *good* parts to your job and working those to your advantage.

One thing we do is having daily Quake fragfests around lunch time. Even the director drops by, shakes his head, chuckles and shuffles away. We are even in the process of designing (when we are not doing projects or solving problems, of course) a large Quake map after the actual physical buildings of our school.

Each team is different, and each company/organization is different. For us, we find that (a) we like the work, (b) we like each other (except when "J" has a BFG10K and all I got is a lousy gauntlet). We work to use that to build relationships within the team, and that has positive, outflowing effects on our attitude towards the customers.

How about: Be Cynical.... (2, Insightful)

argoff (142580) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334112)

You see, in the IT industry - there are all these sales people who are constantly trying to push this proprietary crap down your throat 7x24 that is alsmost always expensive, and will almost certainly be obsolete in a few years. You will have a much more fufilling career, if you are cyincal about all of this, and embrace non-proprietary stuff whenever you whenever you cen even if it is a little more work and a little less feature rich. Over the years, the non proprietary also has the advantage that it tends to build on itself while the proprietary stuff will often keep re-inventing the wheel and charge for it.

Well just look at Google (1)

Mr. Freeman (933986) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334114)

If you read their job benefits and what they have in their main building, it's easy to see why people like working at Google.
http://www.google.com/support/jobs/bin/static.py?p age=why-ca-mv.html [google.com]

Of course having fun makes a job more enjoyable, regardless of what the job actually is.

Uhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334122)

Does Having Fun Make IT More Enjoyable?
This is a tough one, but I'm going to go with yes. Its fun. Everyone enjoys fun.

Impossible (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334125)

I'm pretty sure that IT [imdb.com] is NEVER fun.

Does Having Fun Make IT More Enjoyable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#14334144)

DUH!!

Organization > "Having Fun" at work (1)

SpecialAgentXXX (623692) | more than 8 years ago | (#14334146)

So, not only would I have to deal with unorganized management who promises the clients the world in a horribly unreasonable amount of time, and without consulting IT, but I would also have to squeeze into my already overtime-qualified day some more time to have "fun" with my other co-workers in order to boost morale??? Forgive me if I sound cynical, but I would much, much, much, much rather have organized timelines, clear specifications from the client, and an 8-hour workday instead of "fun." Besides, it's called going to work , not going to fun . Besides, the geeks & dorks that I work with in IT don't know the meaning of fun. Now, the cute girls in sales & marketing... that's a different story!
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