Ignite The Power of Play


At TEDMED 2014, Jill Vialet, CEO of Playworks, challenged us to embrace our inner child and remember the importance of play. As children, we are encouraged to play, but as adults, the focus is on work, not fun and games. However, some of the most successful companies, from Amazon to Facebook, have incorporated play into their workplaces and found that it benefits the bottom line and enhance company culture.

At first, there was pushback from managers who worried that recreational opportunities would decrease productivity. However, the opposite has been true. Studies have shown that happier employees are more productive, and many businesses have embraced team-building exercises and play-based learning to keep their workers engaged.

Play can provide numerous benefits for adults in the workplace, including increased creativity and innovation, improved problem-solving skills, reduced stress, improved collaboration and teamwork, enhanced learning and skill-building, increased engagement and motivation, and improved overall well-being.

Incorporating play into the workplace can lead to a more positive and productive work environment, with benefits for both individuals and the organization as a whole. Companies that value play as a critical component to success tend to have happier, more engaged employees who are willing to put in more time and effort, think more creatively, and ultimately build better businesses.

It is time for us to recognise that the line between work and play is not as distinct as we once thought. By embracing play as a critical component to success, companies can create a positive and productive work environment that benefits everyone involved.

Benefits of Play in the Workplace

Play can offer numerous benefits for adults in the workplace, including:

  1. Increased creativity and innovation
    Play can stimulate the imagination and encourage divergent thinking, which can lead to new ideas and solutions.
  2. Improved problem-solving skills
    Play can help individuals develop a problem-solving mindset by encouraging experimentation and exploration.
  3. Reduced stress
    Play can be a fun and engaging way to relieve stress and promote relaxation.
  4. Improved collaboration and teamwork
    Play can help build relationships and improve communication, which can lead to better collaboration and teamwork.
  5. Enhanced learning and skill-building
    Play can provide opportunities to practice and develop new skills and knowledge in a low-risk, fun environment.
  6. Increased engagement and motivation
    Play can be a source of intrinsic motivation, helping individuals stay engaged and motivated in their work.
  7. Improved overall well-being
    Play can contribute to a sense of overall well-being by promoting physical activity, social interaction, and emotional expression.

Integrating play into the work environment can be a transformative strategy to enhance company culture, particularly in the context of remote work where communication and connection are crucial. Playful activities not only inject a sense of enjoyment into the workday but also foster a more connected and communicative team.

Ignite Your Company Culture

In a virtual work landscape, where teams are dispersed and interactions are often limited to digital platforms, incorporating play into the routine can break down communication barriers. Playful interactions create informal spaces for team members to share experiences, thoughts, and ideas, strengthening the bonds that are essential for effective collaboration. Casual conversations sparked by playful activities provide a natural platform for colleagues to connect on a personal level, enhancing team cohesion.

Playful elements also contribute to a positive company culture by promoting creativity and innovation. When teams engage in activities that encourage imagination and unconventional thinking, they develop a mindset that extends to problem-solving in the professional realm. This can lead to the emergence of novel ideas and approaches, fostering a culture of innovation within the organization.

Moreover, incorporating play into the workday can be a stress-relief mechanism, particularly in a remote setting where the lines between work and personal life can blur. Fun activities act as a mental break, allowing employees to recharge and return to their tasks with renewed focus and energy. This, in turn, contributes to a healthier work-life balance and promotes overall employee well-being.

In conclusion, play at work is not just a frivolous indulgence but a strategic tool to improve company culture, especially in the context of remote work. By emphasizing the importance of communication, fostering connections, and infusing creativity into the work environment, playful activities can significantly contribute to a positive, vibrant, and collaborative company culture. As teams navigate the challenges of working from home, integrating play can be a valuable asset in building a resilient and connected workforce.

Does your organisation value play as a critical component to success and company culture?

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