There’s a good reason why all children play. Sure it’s fun, but it’s also the most effective way of learning. As soon as a child is born they have an abundance of things to figure out and discover. How to hold a toy, how to put something in their mouth and annoyingly for most parents, how to shake an object to make a loud noise! Then as they get older they learn about shapes, numbers, letters, how to talk and go on to learn how to read and write, role play and how to build things all through, you guessed it, play.
It’s instinctive, built into our DNA, programmed into our brains, an imperative survival skill, that as soon as we enter the world, we are productive through play. Without this form of stimulation, our brains become dormant and redundant and negative sentiments creep in such as boredom, depression and stress.
There was a time when the notion of ‘playing’ in the workplace seemed like an alien concept. One reserved solely for kids making their tech millions in Silicon Valley. The idea of a group of colleagues crowded around foosball tables or chilling out on bean bags in a ‘hang-out’ area naturally seemed like it would be more of a distraction than a promotion of productivity. But today this is becoming far more of the norm. From the world’s biggest companies like Apple, Google and Facebook, to creative agencies, recruitment firms and shared workspaces, it’s now part of mainstream work culture and with great success.
The shift comes from thinking about play not as a distraction from work but as something we do because it’s what we enjoy doing. It’s about making work the place we enjoy going to play. This approach stimulates our brains and fills us with motivation, excitement and inspires us to work, productively.
Working in an environment that is less stressful, more positive and supportive has infinite repercussions to the productivity, staff retentions, absentee rates and ultimately success of a workforce and business. It’s why so many organisations are choosing to adopt this model of a playful approach to work.
Examples of play at work don’t have to be break-out rooms filled with pinball machines and a giant Jenga, it can be something as small as promoting a playful/sociable culture or something as large as providing people with a weekly team building activity to take part in. The aim is to make the place of work an enjoyable place to be. Where camaraderie out-ways criticism and motivation overrides melancholy.
So if you’d like to discuss playful team building activities designed to boost your staffs’ productivity, engagement and morale then get in touch today. Trust us it’s a lot easier than installing an office slide and ball pit!