Most of us have a Puritan streak in us somewhere that says, Work is serious, a fun-free zone. We’re not supposed to have fun at work.
We at Office Kitten say, Why not? A little fun — as long as it’s not malevolent or destructive — keeps everyone alert and engaged. In moderation, it probably even makes us all a little more productive. That’s our editorial stance, anyway, and we’re standing by it. For now, at least.
Here are our five favourite ways to have fun at the office. Until we come across better ones, anyway.
5. Magnetic Stones
These are guaranteed conversatiom-starters on your desktop and stress-busters as well. The brainchild of German designer Dewa Bleisinger, they look and feel like natural stone but they are made of polyresin and they have neodyn magnets inside, so they hold rather powerfully onto each other or to any ferous metal.
Bleisinger was inspired by Inuit tribesmen, who stack stones as landmarks. You can use these to create your own unique desktop sculpture or to pin memos or photographs to a metal wall — or at least a dozen other things, some useful, some whimsical.
Here’s a link: http://shop.dewadesign.de/product/inukshuk-dark-grey
4. Use fun stamps
There are literally hundreds of whimsical stamps available on the Web. Some are merely obscene and others are a little mean-spirited, which makes them fun once or twice but they become tiresome very quickly. Use with care. Fair warning.
That said, these are two of our favourites: The Facebook-inspired Like/Don’t Like stamps and the profoundly editorial WTF? stamp.
3. Create scupltures out of office supplies.
We have featured several of these masterpieces before. Here’s another one, courtesy of Mary Abbotts Children’s House:
It’s a T-Rex, constructed entirely of desktop office supplies.
We can see other possibilities based on that staple remover: a crocodile for instance. We are sure you can think of many more if you put your mind to it.
2. Play waste basket basketball.
Is there anyone out there who has never tried to throw a wadded-up piece of waste paper into a waste basket from a distance? Does anyone doubt that this could easily become a game?
Chinese Designer Li Jianye proudly offers his design, which he calls iOlympic wastebasketball.
OK, so maybe the name doesn’t ring in English. It’s still a fun and original idea. Here’s a link: http://www.hardwaresphere.com/2008/07/10/iolympic-wastebasketball-trully-office-sporty/
And finally, with some reservation, we present our favourite way to have some fun around the office.
1. Office pranks and games!
We have a few doubts and cautions because these things can so easily get out of hand and become destructive or wasteful. But this is our favourite office prank. It revolves around the old office photocopier, which is being replaced if it hasn’t already by the multi-function printer. It still works.
First, open the cover as if you’re going to copy a letter. Take a paper clip and put it on the glass surface and put a sheet of clean paper on top it it. Make about fifty copies. Remove the paper clip and the blank sheet. You are through with them.
Now take out the machine’s paper tray and stack the fifty copies you have just made so that they will be the next sheets taken. Slide the paper tray back into the machine. Now leave. You’re finished.
The next person who makes a photocopy will look at the results and exclaim, There’s a paper clip in the machine! He will open the cover and, puzzled at not finding one, make another copy.
When he sees the result of his second copy he will be convinced that there is a paper clip lodged somewhere in the machine. After some time spent removing covers and peeking into cracks he is likely to call IT or maintenance for an assist.
Sometimes it goes all the way to a callout from a representative of the company who made the machine. The jig will be up then, though — they have seen this one before.
Alternatively you can take up “planking”, which involves lying face down in an unusual place in your office. Be warned, however, as some employees who have jubilantly posted their pictures online have received warnings from their superiors!
Office Kitten will list more toys and pranks as we find them.