The Power of Fun at Work with Catherine Price

Catherine Price at the CultureLab podcast

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For many people, fun and work don’t mix. We tend to think of work as the serious and virtuous stuff of life. Fun, on the other hand, is perceived as something frivolous, an indulgence that we can rarely afford.

But what if fun was integral to success at work? What if it was the very thing that fuels innovation, human connections and high performance? This is exactly what I discovered while interviewing hundreds of people in dozens of organizations and studying high-performing teams.

It turns out that fun at work is serious business because it’s one of the pillars of thriving cultures, alongside meaning and belonging. Not the shallow fun that we tend to associate with ping-pong tables and Friday pizza parties – but what I call “deep fun”.

Unsurprisingly perhaps, there is not much research on fun but I did manage to find a person who went down the fun rabbit hole as much (if not more) as I did – an award-winning science journalist, Catherine Price.

Catherine’s latest book is called The Power of Fun – How to Feel Alive Again and when I started reading it, I realized that we’ve arrived at almost the same conclusions when it comes to the nature of fun.

Episode highlights
  • The definition of true fun and how is it different from what we typically think of when we hear the word “fun.”
  • The elements of true fun: flow, connection and play.
  • Ways of generating fun in the workplace.
  • The importance of shared experiences and memories when it comes to foster connections.
  • Ways of bringing more flow into our work lives.
  • Playfulness at work – applications and benefits.

Listen to the interview in the player below or on iTunes. If you like what you hear, please leave a review, and it may be featured on a future episode.

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More about Catherine

Dubbed “The Marie Kondo of Brains” by The New York Times, Catherine Price is an award-winning science journalist and speaker and the author of books including The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again, and How to Break Up with Your Phone.

She is also the creator and founder of ScreenLifeBalance.com, which is dedicated to helping people learn how to scroll less and live more. Her work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, O: The Oprah Magazine, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Slate, Men’s Journal, Self, and Outside, among others.

Books mentioned in this episode

The Power of Fun: How to Feel Alive Again by Catherine Price

How to Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price

The power of ritual by Casper ter Kuile

Book of delights by Ross Gay

The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker

Getting Things Done by David Allen

Puritans at Play by Bruce C. Daniels

Primed to Perform by Lindsay McGregor and Neel Doshi

People mentioned in this episode

Michael Pollan

Additional resources

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