Have fun, get stuff done

I am warming to a theme which I hope to explore more fully here. This post is just to kick things off.

Last week I went to the annual LearnPod¬†unconference for people working in Post-16 education. I went not intending to run a session; really I was there to catch up with some people from my former life working in the sector who I haven’t seen since last year’s event. But, as the session pitching was going a bit slowly, I changed my mind and pitched a session on “making learning fun”. Given that I hadn’t prepared anything and was in a room full of qualified educators, I was bowled over, and a not a little bit surprised, at the positive feedback I got from the session, which I ended up running twice.

My theme was that making learning fun works in two ways: it engages learners more effectively, and it makes the education process more enjoyable for the teacher/tutor. I remain a firm believer that we learn best through play, but the education system seems to forget this beyond the early years of primary school.

And I believe this applies to other areas of work too. Work takes up a big part of most people’s lives, and I don’t see why it shouldn’t be enjoyable. Workers who enjoy their jobs are more productive, give customers better experiences and increase the profits or efficiency of the organisations they work for.

I also think that this is a key to social media adoption at work. I come across a lot of people who are fearful of social media because it breaks down some of the barriers between work and personal life. But I also believe that some of the fear this causes is because people don’t enjoy their jobs, so they don’t want that lack of enjoyment spilling over into their private lives. If they enjoyed their job, I don’t think they would be so reluctant to blur the boundaries.

So, let’s make work fun…. we might get more stuff done.