Delaware's Fun Department shows that entertainment in the workplace is good for business.
Look out: The Fun Department is coming. Is that a good thing?
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Picture this: You’re a nurse at a medical office. You’re waiting for your next patient to arrive. Suddenly, with a whoosh, two strangers rush in with a small cart carrying a fish tank filled with water. You have no idea who they are. You’re slightly concerned.
The next thing you know, you and your colleagues are summoned to the back hallway for a fast game of “Will It Float?” The two oddballs—in this case, Krystal Spencer and Nat Measley—start dropping weird items into the tank. Plop goes a Three Musketeers candy bar wrapper, a latex glove and a plastic box. Your gang is asked to guess if the objects will float. Answer correctly and you win a $2 bill.
There goes an old stethoscope.
“It’s a sinker,” a staffer says.
“You are correct! Here’s two dollars,” says one of the oddballs.
“Can I keep it?” you say.
“Of course,” he says.
“Wow. I’ve heard about you guys coming in like this, but it’s never happened before on this shift,” says a physician’s assistant, clearly enjoying the odd but entertaining interlude.
Another staffer looks down the hall nervously, hoping it’s not wrong that she’s enjoying this silliness in the midst of an office where sick people require treatment.
Within 10 minutes, several floaters and sinkers make a splash. A few $2 bills change hands. Then, those nonconformists propel the cart back out to the parking lot, leaving most employees with a fun, shared experience. One employee is left shaking his head, wondering what the hay just happened. For him, this was not fun; it was weird.
Weird or not, this idea of bringing fun to the workplace seems to be catching on. The oddballs —Spencer and Measley—are employees of The Fun Department, a company that aims to bring joy to the workplace. Back in the day, Human Resources folks would have called this team building.
To work for the Fun Department, you have to be willing—and just crazy enough—to put yourself out there. These spirited guys and gals work with corporate leaders who send employees off for a day of training someplace. The corporate leaders hope to create better working relationships among staff. The workers who endure the workshops would never, ever classify them as fun—until now, that is.
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