Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Having fun in the workplace

I am sure from a managerial standpoint, when someone says fun in the workplace they think of all sorts of things that are not beneficial to the work environment. However, fun in the workplace does not have to be all fun and games, even though some organizations are stepping towards these methods to make the workplace more enjoyable.

Let's think about it, our jobs are where we spend a majority of our time. Many of us, and I for one, become dissatisfied with the work environment and sometimes do not feel appreciated. That alone effects how we work, the service we give but also our overall morale. Libraries for many outsiders seems to be a mundane job, however even though it can have its moments, it certainly can be far from mundane. According to a survey done by Leysen & Boydston where 143 catalogers were surveyed about their job satisfaction, 88% experienced levels of satisfaction with their current jobs. "Trust in administration and relationships with co-workers were found to be among the top-ranked indicators of satisfaction"(Everett, 2011, p.3). I can personally say that I want to be able to trust my administration and feel like I can go to them for anything. We are all people and it should not matter what level you are at but I feel that one on one appreciation for each other (management and all) extends to have great work morale.

The article in which I got most of this information discusses fun ways to enhance work morale, but it is not necessarily games and such. For example, the article mentions a library in which staff stayed over to help with a literacy program and the director rewarded them with pizza. This past Friday I was at the VA volunteering and the librarian ordered us all pizza for our work. Its the little things sometimes that make employees feel appreciated.

I personally hate to admit that the way I work is affected to how I am treated. A job is a job and you should do it, however when you do not feel appreciated in your work environment why would you want to be there? It is especially hard in the library field because we know the job search can be difficult and then you are "stuck". I don't necessarily think that play time is necessary to make us feel better in a work environment, but knowing that we are part of the organization and are important is essential for work morale.

Everett, A. (2011). Benefits and challenges of fun in the workplace. Library Leadership & Management, 25(1), 1-10

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