Dad Newburger

Make your dental office atmosphere fun

Oct. 23, 2013
A fun dental office is a productive dental office

What is the most important aspect of having a job? Getting paid? Probably not. It is enjoying what you do. Don’t get me wrong … money is quite a motivator for this girl, but it really isn’t everything.

I could become a garbage lady and earn about $30,000 a year, depending on where I live. But it just wouldn’t make sense! I’d have to use a lot of my Ralph Lauren perfume, and that’s quite a luxury item. (It may be good stuff, but seriously, it isn’t going to cover up the stench.)

What makes me most excited about getting up and going to work? The people. I’ve had some really incredible colleagues that just make work fun, and I’m being serious here. They may not be fashionistas, but that isn’t their fault. We aren’t allowed to wear anything but our boring uniforms.

But think about it. You’re with your work family more hours than you’re with your biological family. So if work isn’t fun, why be there? Are you wondering how you can turn things around and make it fun? I’m not talking practical jokes or whoopee cushions. (Those are so juvenile!) So how can you spice things up at work?

Here are four ideas:

1. Laugh at yourself. People laugh at me all the time. Do I care? Not at all. If I make them laugh, either at me or with me, who cares? They’re laughing. Besides, we take ourselves sooooooo seriously. So come on, lighten up!

2. Have team-building outings. Hit a comedy club or go sing some Karaoke. (Some people just should not do Karaoke, but that’s what makes it so fun!) Corporate America has learned how those company picnics and holiday parties can have a real impact on morale. But those are such cliché ideas. My suggestion is to have a marathon shoe shopping day. Think about it. What women don’t want to bond over shoes?

3. Tell some jokes. While this is not my strong point, some people like that kind of stuff. Figure out how to make people laugh and just do it. Laughter diffuses tension. When you’re laughing, you aren’t complaining. (OK, some of us can master laughing and complaining at the same time, but face it. That takes REAL talent!) Get creative. Perhaps have a Diana Directive day at work and pretend to be someone else. It works for me!

4. Have competitions to see who can be the funniest. Who can tell the funniest patient story? Who can tell the funniest thing that ever happened to them? Have the rest of the office vote for the best one. Shake things up a little. Life is short. Another contest could be having the participants find a funny cartoon or email. (Keep in mind not to offend anyone. You don’t want to get into some office problem over it, right?) If you laugh and bond, you really are going to have a much better time at work.

Part of why I’ve bounced from job to job is because I wasn’t having fun. (I also had a teensy weensy problem about not showing up on time.) But when I landed a job where we laughed and played, I was really happy. Are you happy? If not, do something about it. Get creative and find ways to have fun at work, and you really will enjoy your job so much more.

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If you want to brainstorm ways to have fun on the job, email Lisa at [email protected]. Lisa Newburger, aka Diana Directive, provides humorous ways to deal with difficult topics. Check out her website at