Work+fun, funwork or fun*work?

What does fun mean in the context of the workplace?  Its nebulous.  I have three definitions:

1. Work+fun: Workplaces where one can have a good time.  Most tech/BPO campuses fall in this category.  The work may or may not be spectacular, but the average employee gets access to sports facilities, libraries, good cafeterias, the occasional music concert, team dinners etc.  All of this contributes to a feeling of well-being and that “life is good”.  But the fun is really outside the actual work.  Its a little artificial – but its better than work without fun.

2. Funwork: There are jobs which are (at least seemingly) fun.  Like Harsha Bhogle at ESPN – getting to watch every cricket match live and commenting on it.  One assumes that the folks in entertainment businesses have a lot of fun with their work (not always though – entertainment can be fairly serious business).  One also presumes that scientists working in high-end research labs also have a fair amount of fun.  By and large, though, there is a “star” element to this.  The top-dog gets to define his agenda, experiment, work with loose budgets and gets a disproportionate share of the glory.  Not everyone has fun, although there is a rub-off effect.

3. Fun*work: This is that rare category of companies where a person has the liberty to think creatively and do things differently even in his/her day-to-day job.  The workplace tends to encourage diversity of thought.  These companies thrive on incremental improvements and enhanced richness. For instance, Youtube has a vuvuzela button.  Google plays around significantly around its search function – building in little hooks (try searching for recursion in google).  Even among services firms, there are some which push you towards a template, and some which encourage you to change the template.  You don’t need to be a genius to express yourself at these places,  everyone can add their ingredients to the pot.

What kind of company are you at?  What kind would you build?

One Response to Work+fun, funwork or fun*work?

  1. Pingback: Friends at the workplace…who needs them? « Two MBAs, One Blog

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