Curious Georgie: Hey bosses! Put the fun back into the office

Office life has just got a bit brighter for workers at a firm in Folkestone with the installation of a slide as Georgie explains

Gareth Fuller/PA Wire Slide for workers in Folkestone 'tech' office
Slide for workers in Folkestone 'tech' office

Grown ups. Prepare yourselves. You’re about to get very excited, and if you work in an office, probably a bit jealous.

News reached me this week that a forward-thinking company down South has had the genius idea of installing an alternative method of transport when it comes to getting from one floor to another.

Forget the monotony of stairs. They’re so 2013. For workers at the Workshop business hub office block in Folkestone, 2014 is going to be all about the slide.

Yes, that’s right folks, the management of this outfit are such lovers of fun that they have put in a shiny chrome chute which enables their employees to go from floor to floor inside three seconds.

So not just fun, but efficient too. Indeed staff have already worked out that the slide is also a great way to get post and the odd bag of sugar to where it needs to be, sharpish.

What a lovely, lovely story among the usual workplace tales of misery, blame and bitterness.

Here you have a boss who isn’t just thinking about how they can get you to do more for less... who isn’t thinking about saving money 24/7... and isn’t scared of standing his ground in the face of the assumed objections of the health and safety massive.

No, this is a boss preoccupied with how to make their staff smile... And probably go wheeeeeeeee! into the bargain. Office manager James Avery, seen enjoying the fruits of his creative thinking, right, said: “We had thought about other ideas like installing a pole, which might have been cheaper, but this is more fun.”

And you know what, I’ll bet they end up with a more productive workforce because of it.

It’s just basic human maths. If you’re happy and you think those in charge care about it, you’ll be much more likely to do your best for them.

With this in mind, I am taking it upon myself to start a campaign for more of this. Pray silence, for the More Fun for Grown Ups Manifesto.

Now I must confess, I’ve been spending a little too much time on Big Bro Fred’s bedroom slide this week, so this is by no means the finished article.

But please just take a minute to consider how much more fun working life for grown ups would be if one, two or all of the following were adopted by the big cheeses (basically everything other than Babybels and Dairylea triangles) in the workplace.

  • Start the day with five minutes of communal singing and skipping. My friends at Piccolo Music taught me you can’t be grumpy when you’re skipping... and they’re never wrong;
  • Strongly suggest employees demonstrate their freerunning (or parkour if you’ve got your Sunday best on) skills - incorporating compulsory twirling at regular intervals - when moving around the office;
  • Develop a company handshake;
  • Play hide and seek at lunchtime;
  • Have random tell-a-joke drills to punctuate the day;
  • Clear some floor space and have a game of rounders once a month;
  • Make high fives and/or chest bumps a compulsory form of congratulations;
  • And finally, the obvious: install a soft play area, including a ball pool with a diving board. A no-brainer assuming some of the above take a while to catch on. May I also take this opportunity to suggest to my grown up readership that you do your best to work some more fun into your day wherever you can get it.

As I’m told my lovely Grandy used to say, ‘this is not a rehearsal’.


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