Employees perform better when work is fun

25 Feb 2021 By Jyoti Rambhai

Study reveals setting challenges and engaging in playful work boosts job performance

Seeking out challenges and making work more fun helps to increase job performance, new research by BI Norwegian Business School has found.

The study investigated the relationship between job crafting, playfulness in work and job performance. The participants were asked to complete a diary questionnaire and to rate the daily achievement of a colleague at work for 30 consecutive days.

Job crafting was characterised as when employees refine their job tasks by increasing demand, such as looking for new challenges or asking for feedback and support – referred to as seeking job resources. Playful work design, according to the research, is where the employee creates conditions at work that foster a joyful experience, such as challenging themselves to complete a task in record time.

The research found that looking for job resources, setting more challenges and engaging in playful work helped employees boost their performance in their jobs on a daily basis. It also found that making work fun was most effective when the pressure was low. In contrast, reducing job demand was found to be linked to poor performance.

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