When Work Becomes Play

By Steve Gahagen


I often tell my wife to have fun when she is heading off to work. She works twelve-hour overnight shifts as a Registered Nurse. She is usually working in an understaffed environment at an organization that stresses providing exceptional care. So, she doesn’t always appreciate my comments. Frustration can dampen our ability to make work fun.

If we are in the right place with the right fit, there should be moments when work becomes play. When time flies by and we lose ourselves in our work. When we find joy because we have done great work or because we made a difference in someone’s life. When we forgot it was work.

Anytime our work becomes play, I believe it is an indicator of what work is intended to be. Hopefully, you have moments in your work when it feels like play and you can’t believe you’re getting paid to do it.

Questions to consider

I encourage you to discuss these questions around the office water cooler or home dinner table. You can breathe life into people in your sphere of influence as you ask them to share their thoughts.

  1. When is your work more like play than work?

  2. Are there times at work when you are so focused that you lose track of time? Give an example.

  3. What are the moments that bring you the greatest satisfaction?

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