They say that you don’t create your core values, you discover them. When we looked at what we value at IBEX Payroll, we discovered that we like to have fun. Not the goofing-off, get-out-of-work kind of fun, but rather the we-gotta-get-stuff-done-let’s-have-a-giggle-while-we-do-it kind of fun.
Our internal chat system is one area where this value comes alive. There was recently a respectful debate on the merits of chocolate vs veggies (chocolate was found to be healthier, of course), followed by a contest to caption a picture of one of the team seemingly puckering up to kiss another in a very dramatic way.
I have returned to my desk to find my office filled with balloons, my office “bugged” with a hidden device that chirped like a cricket a few times day (and drove me nuts), and an air horn that blasted when I entered the room. I am unsure why an innocent person like me would attract such retribution! (I say this while batting my eyelashes with an innocent look on my face.)
I can’t imagine working anywhere where humour was not accepted. Even at the worst of times, a little gallows humour can go a long way to help us move on, reminded that we all enjoy working together even when things get tough. It works for us.
Psychologically, the effects of humour and laughter have been shown to reduce anxiety, decrease stress, enhance self-esteem, and increase self-motivation. Our fifth and final core value is “Have fun and enjoy the ride”. For me, it makes coming to work every day a new adventure. Who wants to check their sense of fun at the door anyway? I’d rather hear an air horn blast on the way in, from time to time.