I used to work at a place that thought it was fun because it had a game room. The company was dry, lacked culture, and didn’t empower its employees to ever actually have fun at work. They took themselves excessively seriously, but assumed that having a game room meant they were a fun company. Know how many people used that game room? Zero. I never saw it used once. We all know companies that do this. It can be a pool table or a monthly happy hour, but if your corporate values don’t make those activities feel natural your employees won’t have fun
At UserVoice, we make a commitment that we won’t take ourselves too seriously. Creating that expectation allows for the real fun to happen – an impromptu Nerf fight, an unexpectedly sweaty match of air hockey, or random singalongs to Taylor Swift. We care deeply about enhancing our product, fostering our community, and making work a productive place to be.
Our Head of Support Ted integrates this value into the way he handles customer interactions, “Lightening up the support interaction humanizes it, and customers definitely prefer it.” Better support by being less serious!? We know. Mindblowing.
Real fun isn’t scheduled or confined to a game room – it has to be baked into how your company operates. Whether it’s a separate room in HipChat for the fun stuff, or not chastising people for a coffee run, we know that we’re encouraged and allowed to let loose. When a balance of fun and professional is met, it makes for a much happier and productive workplace.
Photo courtesy of Miguel Pires da Rosa.