What I’ve Learned So Far II: Have Fun.
I can’t believe my good fortune: I do work I love with people I love. Everyone should have that opportunity.
My friends know that I avoid parties whenever possible, but even I know victories should be celebrated. Staff meetings should be entertaining. We’ll do better work and we’ll do it more enthusiastically if we do it with friends. According to David Brooks, “Research over the past thirty years makes it clear that what the inner mind really wants is connection. Joining a group that meets just once a month produces the same increase in happiness as doubling your income.”
It’s the responsibility of agency management to make those monthly social/business meetings happen. It’s the responsibility of every person at the agency to bring joy to work at least four days a week. (We all have bad days.)
By the way, make the fun visible to the people around you. Friends tease each other in affectionate, public ways. That kind of banter can reduce tension for everyone (One note: don’t leave anyone out. The etiquette for teasing women is still a little different than for teasing men, but don’t ignore the woman in the room just because she’s not as ripe a target as, say, Earl Cox or me. There’s a bias that accrues from making the men always the center of attention.)