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“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” was typed time and time and time again by a manic Jack Torrance (played superbly by Jack Nicholson) in “The Shining” where he loses his mind..… But there was another part added to this proverb a long, long time ago which was “All play and no work makes Jack a mere Toy”

Why am I talking about this? Because I have just read about the UK IT company that has recently converted a pub to offices and now provides its employees/playmates with a giant slide, swing, pool table, cinema, bar and putting green. When I first read the article I noted that it was quite close to April 1st but having read similar stories about companies, particularly in IT, I had to believe it to be true.

I am the first to admit that I can be a bit of a dinosaur as far as work is concerned, particularly having started life in the conservative atmosphere of a chartered accounting firm. When I started work you went to work to work… You then went home in the evening to play, and you played at the weekends. Life was quite simple. The only exception to this rule were the partners in the firm who tended to “work” a lot on the golf course during the week, but the only “play” we had at work was when somebody told a joke, or flicked a rubber band at you. The photocopier malfunctioning and throwing paper all over the office (as it often did) was cause for laughter – I guess, as accountants, we were easily amused.

Did I feel hard done by? Did I feel oppressed? Did I feel that there was some accounting firm elsewhere in London where I could play more and work less? Hell No .. The firm gave me good training, paid me well and had some brilliant clients to work with.

Did I feel therefore that not being able to jump up and down on a bouncy castle or slide down a giant helter-skelter meant that my ability to give good business advice to a client was severely prejudiced? – I do not think so.

What happened to a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay? Did everything really change forever after the first episodes of “The Office” and work fun like Gareth’s stapler being covered in jelly became the norm behaviour?

As I said before I may be a dinosaur… so I would really appreciate some comments on where work begins and play finishes. Having a playground in your office – does it really make your business more profitable? Your clients better served? Your organisation more productive?

Should employers now be focussed on a full day’s pay for a full day’s play – and perhaps the employees do all their work at home? Now there’s a thought to make you as crazy as Jack….

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