Laura Anderson: March 2010 Archives

"It was a pleasure working with you." We've all heard this before; and thinking about it, work and pleasure are a bit contradictory when you take the literal meaning of the terms. Today, places of employment have been making a bigger effort to increase the enjoyment people find when coming to work. This is not only helpful for the employees to get through a hectic day with high morale, but employers enjoy the benefits of happy employees too, because they are working better and producing more positive results. Kind of a win-win situation, don't you think? Ideally, yes. But the balance of work and pleasure must be appropriate for everyone to reap the benefits.

I though it was interesting when our speaker from 3M discussed the 15% of time they are allowed to explore their own ideas. This seems like a great way for employees to take a break from their real clients and projects and work on something that is of more personal interest to them. On the other side, while 3M gives up 6 hours a week per employee for structured work, they still profit from having this 15% rule. New inventions are coming out of this brainstorming and experimenting time that can ultimately become assets (and profit) for 3M.

New ideas may arise from an allotted daydreaming time, but finding pleasure with one's work leads to increased productivity on a daily basis as well. In an inspiring and fun work environment, people are more likely to feel a sense of worth and eagerness to contribute their best results. If the general attitude around a job is that people are proud of their work, it will push people to do better, delighting those who are concerned with the bottom line as well. A balance must be met with accomplishing actual work and the fun things that let someone accomplish that work in a positive manner. Olson employees don't play dodgeball for 15% of the day, but a little enjoyment at work can go a long way.

Brandst├Ątter, Hermann. "Pleasure of Leisure-pleasure of Work: Personality Makes the Difference." Science Direct (2002). Web.

Kretkowski, Paul D. "The 15 Percent Solution." WIRED 23 Jan. 1998. Print.

Thompson, Robin. "Increase Productivity, Profitability, and Morale and Make Work Fun." Web.

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