Workplace fun: a matter of context and not content

Katerina Georganta*, Anthony Montgomery

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: During the last years, workplace fun has emerged as a potential indicator of a healthy workplace. Congruently, organisations have become interested in enhancing positive experiences at work, such as joy in the workplace. While such trends have resulted in a growing literature on fun in the workplace, humour and play, academics and practitioners are still uncertain as to the nature of fun and its antecedents. The purpose of this paper is to explore the concept of fun in the modern organisation and understand the underlying elements necessary for creating environments that valorise and promote fun. Design/methodology/approach: The authors conducted semi-structured individual interviews with open-ended questions with 34 employed individuals from a variety of professions. The data were analysed using thematic analysis. Findings: The analyses revealed organised fun as a distinct type of workplace fun that can have a significant impact through its social support function and psychological safety as the underlying element for promoting healthy positive fun interactions. The culture of the organisation and management attitudes towards fun emerged as key issues in promoting a fun workplace. Originality/value: Organised fun emerged as a new type of workplace fun. The relational characteristic of fun and its function as a social support method are discussed. The study has delineated the contextual factors that should be addressed by researchers when studying workplace fun.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-336
Number of pages20
JournalQualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal
Issue number3
Early online date18 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sept 2019
Externally publishedYes


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