2 Ways To Help Your Employees Forget They Are Working

passionFor whatever reason I am thinking in twos this week.  I’ve had two recent epiphanies about how to make work feel a bit less like work and a bit more like AWESOME.  In this case AWESOME might be described as fun, or some might call it flow, or perhaps time just flies by.  Whatever it’s called, I want that on a routine basis.  Here are two ways to do that consistently.

Channel Your Passion

I’ve been listening to Talk Like TED, by Carmine Gallo, on my commute this week.  In the book he shares nine public speaking traits that the great TED speakers all have in common, which allows them to engage and influence their audiences so powerfully.  So far, I’ve only heard the first one and I’m already inspired.

Gallo’s first principle is passion.  All great TED speakers are not simply great because of the work they do.  They are great because they share what they are truly passionate about and that passion is evident in their words, emotions, body language and of course the result of their work.

I recently asked my customer service leaders what they are truly passionate about.  Did any of them respond with “customer service?”  Absolutely not!  I heard responses like connecting with other people, solving complex problems and learning new things.  Those are things you can truly be passionate about.  All of a sudden, an employee realizes that they can use these skills anywhere.  They are not pigeon-holed in customer service, but they can do what they are passionate about within customer service.

As customer service leaders, do you know what you are truly passionate about?  Do you know what your employees are passionate about?  Your first step is to learn those two things.  The second step is to find ways to use that passion at work daily.  Yes there will always be aspects of work that we are not passionate about, but the more you can close the gap between work and passion, the less work will feel like work!

Don’t Forget The Fun

I’m in the midst of a marathon training plan and am only two months from the big day.  With the distances are getting longer, I find myself aiming to leave the house before 5am.  Today, my 2-year-old son Sam threw a wrench in my plans by waking up at 5am.  Good luck getting him to go back to sleep.  To maintain the peace, he came along for the ride.

The run was going great until we ran by the donut shop.  By stopping occasionally for a treat, I have created a monster.  Not wanting to stop this morning, I knew I was in for a fight.  All of a sudden, the run felt a lot more like work and a lot less like fun.

What did I do?  I turned it into a game and redirected his attention.  We began playing the game of chicken, narrowly missing every hedge, wall, tree and parked car along the way.  Soon enough, we forgot about the donut shop and were back to enjoying the beautiful sunrise.

While I’m confident that Sam will adapt and this particular game will not work every time, this is a great reminder to continue to find ways to keep it fun and fresh.  Work feels a lot less like work when we are having fun.  How can you change your environment to lighten the mood and get people whistling while they work?

What are some ways you forget you are working?  Share with us in a comment, on Facebook or on Twitter.


Jeremy Watkin is the Director of Customer Experience at FCR, the premiere provider of outsourced call center and business process solutions. He has more than 17 years of experience as a customer service and experience professional. He is co-founder of the Customer Service Life blog and a regular contributor. Jeremy has been recognized many times for his thought leadership. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn for more awesome customer service and experience insights.


  • Work? No way. I never confuse what I do with the word WORK! I love what I do so much that what others consider work, I consider ME. If you don’t love what you do, go do something else, you will be doing everyone a favor. Great post Jeremy, you are truly passionate about what you do and it shows … continue having fun, laughing, smiling and being the best YOU. As for me, I’m diggin everything that you represent. xo

  • This was a really great exercise, Jeremy. Thanks for helping us redirect our perspective into more awesome every day!

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