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It’s a phrase most entrepreneurs know very well. It could even be a motivator for going into business in the first place.

Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

And for most of us, it’s absolutely accurate. The chance to bring a personal passion to life in a professional setting is a dream come true. But we do work. Hard.

A recent study conducted by The Alternative Board found that 19 percent of small business owners work more than 60 hours a week, and only one in five small business owners work less than the standard 40-hour work week.

Generally, that is time well spent. Yet there is one very important thing to never lose sight of in the process: don’t forget to have fun.

It might sound counterproductive, but research supports the theory that workplaces that foster creativity and encourage employees to have fun are often more productive in the long run.

Work hard, play hard works

“There is good evidence that if you allow employees to engage in something they want to do, (which) is playful, there are better outcomes in terms of productivity and motivation,” Dr. Stuart Brown shared with Fox News recently.

Brown is the founder of the National Institute for Play, where he offers consulting for tech and non-tech companies to help foster creativity and productivity in the workplace.

“All sorts of creative new connections are made when you’re playing that otherwise would not have been made,” Brown added, in the story.

An article in Entrepreneur also points to stepping away to do something different periodically throughout the day as a best practice for entrepreneurial creativity.

A quick walk around the office, or around the block if weather permits, can benefit productivity in more ways than one, according to a study conducted by Stanford University. Their study revealed that bursts of walking can spark and inspire creativity, ultimately helping create a more productive working environment.

Think Outside (No Box Required)

The scope of office play will vary greatly depending on a number of factors, such as company size, field, and demographics.

However, there are some basic things that can work in almost any business setting. Here are some examples from Small Business Can:

  1. As every holiday comes along, find something fun about it, and promote it. Make a point to plan ahead and get your employees involved. That will in turn increase the word of mouth and advertisement of how unique and fun you are.
  2. Take care of those employees. Find ways for them to have fun on their jobs. It will increase their productivity as well as their love for you and your company. The more you care for your employees, the more they will sacrifice for you. As long as you put on the ‘I am human’, the more they respond. If they just become a number, you’ve already lost the battle. They hate you. Get to know their names and get out there and find out who they are.
  3. Training is the utmost essential item to do when you are running a company. No matter how large or small you are, those employees are an extension of you. They have to have massive amounts of training to know their job and know how to do it the way you need them to do it.
  4. Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Show appreciation for them often! Have a sale appreciation day or have a customer appreciation month. Have giveaways that really give away something. If they can jump up and down with a free product for others see, you have just won a customer for life. As well as others that want to try to win too.
  5. Mary Kay Ash always said that P&L meant People and Love. As long as you make it about the people, the profit and loss will be insignificant. Make people important and they will take care of you.

No Good Reason

There’s no good reason why any day of work shouldn’t involve at least a little bit of fun. Because it’s a phrase we all know but sometimes forget to practice: do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

And have fun doing it!

Resource Links:

The Alternative Board – Work-Life Balance is Possible

Fox News Health – Fun at Work Boosts Creativity

American Psychological Association ResearchThe Positive Effect of Walking on Creative Thinking

Small Business Can – Improve Productivity and Stay Creative