Ancient times. The good old days when the human race had one goal only: to survive and to out-live our rival civilizations. Most of us fantasize about what it would have been like to live in the times without electricity before the crazy thing called technology took over and when the recession wasn’t a thing yet.
The thing that amazes me is the extremely crazy things that were considered to be normal back then, for example, the Roman and Greek gladiator arenas. And my mind is as imaginative as it is, started incorporating some of those things into my job. And I began to wonder, wouldn’t our jobs become much more fun if we reintroduced, if not all, some of those long lost ancient practices into our jobs and workplaces?
I am well aware that these are pure fascinations and shall never come to pass. But I also have an extremely imaginative mind, so I was told to write about things I am good at, and I realized that I am good at bringing a smile to people’s faces. And honestly, everyone deserves a smile after a week of hard work, number churning and client pleasing.
So, ladies and gentlemen, here are some of the long discontinued activities that can and probably will make our jobs way more fun.
Story Time: Viking Style
Who doesn’t love the mighty Vikings? The people whose villages they raided and burned, maybe. But in general, we are fascinated by Vikings. Their strength and fearlessness on the battlefield could be attributed to their mythology and religious beliefs: You could go to heaven only if you died a horrible, painful and glorious death in battle.
One of the things we can recreate from the Vikings is their story sessions. After each successful raid or plunder, the returning heroes would gather the villagers in the town hall, have a drink, some good food and tell tales of their travels and victory, and in general boast about the riches, they gathered.
Imagine how fun it would be, if, after every successful business meeting, the returning heroes of your company gathered everyone in the common hall, passed around a few drinks and in what is possibly the most glorious way ever, tell the tales of their conquest, holding us all breathless in the process. Agreed, more than a few details would be exaggerated, but don’t we all crave at least a little bit of exaggeration?
Decision Making: The Persian Way
Most you might already know what I am referencing. In the times when the Persian empire was a flourishing civilization, the policymakers had what is possibly the most amazing way of making decisions and reaching a consensus.
Every idea was debated upon twice- once while sober, and once again while drunk. This was repeated until the drunk and sober versions were the same, and everyone was in agreement with both of them.
The moment I read this, I thought about how much fun the modern workplace could be if we implemented this method of decision making? Imagine arguing over new design of the work tables while slightly tipsy with your colleagues. Not only does it sound fun, but it would also make people want to turn up for work and get their tasks done in time for the otherwise boring office meetings.
Breaking Down Walls: The Greek way of Welcoming Champions
The ancient Olympics was a crazy festival that celebrated sports, physical skill and fitness and some other things. They were also home to some bizarre rewards for the victors and equally weird practices.
For some cities, a lifetime of free food and exemption from taxes wasn’t enough of a reward for their champions. So, they would tear down a part of their outer wall and have the champion walk in over the rubble.
While I do realize that breaking down a wall in your office could be a costly affair, doing so to a cubicle could be both economical and fun. Imagine coming back after a stressful but fruitful meeting with your clients, a huge account signed for your firm, and your co-workers proceed to tear down the walls of your cubicle and have you march in over their ruins. Not only dramatic but classy as well.
Duels: Because why not?
Duels, the easiest and the most dramatic way to settle disputes. I sometimes wonder why it went out of practice in the first place. A duel was the answer to all your woes.
Two men, brandishing their swords, probably with a crowd gathered to witness. To turn down a challenge to a duel would mean you lose your honor, which nobody wants to happen- even today.
Dueling could be a fun activity to include in your office retreats and weekend meetups. Of course, we’d have to use dull blades, because murder….
Though one cannot help but imagine how much fun it would be if instead of involving the HR and legal department and all the lengthy proceedings, we could just challenge those who wronged us in the office to a duel and settle it like a couple of mature and sensible individuals? With swords, yes.
So what rituals do you think could make your workplace more fun?