Ever wonder why some of your friends have fun at work and you don’t?

Research shows that having fun at work could help boost employee morale, reduce stress and improve staff retention—three issues especially important in today’s economy.

A new book co-authored by University of Central Florida Management Professor Robert Ford playfully addresses the benefits of having fun on the job. The book, based on an extensive research study by the Society for Human Resource Management, offers ideas and reasons to create a fun work environment.

“The Fun Minute Manager” is an easy-to-read story in which “Bob Workman,” a fictional manager, discovers why fun at work is important. Workman involves his employees in developing ideas for a fun workplace and establishes a systematic approach to measuring the workplace benefits of fun. The lessons learned in the book can easily be applied to a real-life office setting.

“From our research on fun work environments, it became clear that too many people were not having much fun at work and wished they could,” Ford said. “We thought we would write the book to tell them how.”

Ford co-authored the book with Bob Pike, an industry leader in training and development and CEO of the Bob Pike Group, and John W. Newstrom, a professor emeritus of management at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. The project’s title is a spin off of the business classic “The One Minute Manager” by Kenneth Blanchard.

While “fun” has not been viewed as a traditional responsibility of the manager, the authors say that managers who care about their employees and their bottom line will find “The Fun Minute Manager” a great tool for actively engaging employees and positively transforming their workplace.

To find out how you can have more fun at work, visit thefunminutemanager.com, a social networking Web site focused on workplace training tips. “The Fun Minute Manager” is available for purchase on Amazon.com.