Douglas Rushfoff doesn’t think we should have fun at work. He thinks work should be fun – and that if it were, teeth-cloying, management-imposed ‘fun’ would be unnecessary:
By making the "fun" at work extraneous – external and unrelated – to the boring and dull work that people are actually doing, it only exacerbates the problem. It’s like giving kids dessert as a "reward" for finishing the main part of the meal. Why do they need a reward? Because the main meal tastes terrible!
The reward just reinforces the notion that the work itself is not fun.
But that, of course presupposes that work can be fun – which is in turn the more interesting challenge: how do we make work fun, and so not have to worry about compensating for the fact that it isn’t?
We have a head start. For all the quotidian irritations, what we do is a lot more like fun than what many others have to endure. The challenge for us is to find ways of building on that, rather than compensating for it in the ways Rushkoff rightly criticises.