My employer (the Australian Government) is spending more and more time looking at ways of bringing more fun into the workplace.
Some of it is a bit over the top and seems aimed at those that are, well... shallow I guess. But the overall effect is a good one - enjoyment in the workplace does increase. Part of it is recruiting the right people, part is managing them the right way. A bit part though, is giving employees "permission" to enjoy themselves at work and encouraging that. To the point where I almost feel guilty (almost) if I'm in a bad mood at work. Adding to that, the overall quality of the people is good.
The workload is pretty heavy, everything seems to be tracked comprehensively, but that's a good trade-off when even a sour old grape like me has a smile on his face most of the day. Pool tables, televisions, couches, a (small) gym... add that sort of atmosphere to a decent wage where any significant overtime is paid, an employer who WILL be understanding and supportive of just about any situation you find yourself in (as long as it's doesn't go against those public service Code of Conduct values), and you attract not only people happy to be at work - you also attract people that are good at what they do. Those of us who do take pride in our work and always strive for better results deserve a better deal, and those of us smart enough to go out and find an employer that will offer it.
It took me half my working life to realise this was possible, but I'm glad I learned eventually.
If you are good at your job and you can show you're the sort of conscientious and trustworthy person any employer would want... find the place you want to be. It might not be the job you're in now, or even the next one, but if you really deserve it you shouldn't stop looking.
Growing up sucks, but there's no one to blame when YOU are the one able to change it. One of the (only slightly) less corny attempts at motivation I've seen recently was a video from http://www.pikeplacefish.com/
. When enough staff take this sort of attitude on board the result really is remarkable, but it does require staff to get involved and want
to be happier.