What is National Have Fun at Work Day? When is it?
National Have Fun at Work Day is Friday, January 26th, 2018. For Ziksana, this holiday is the perfect opportunity to share how the power of play can fuel productivity and motivation.
Why would I play at work? Isn’t play something you do AFTER work?
Play can be defined as when we engage in activities that we personally enjoy. There are the traditional ways to play at work, like telling a joke at the end of an email or by connecting with a coworker during a break.
In addition, play can also be defined as an attitude towards work. Are there parts of your job that you thoroughly enjoy such that it ‘doesn’t feel like work’? This kind of play can be even more impactful. When you approach your tasks with a playful attitude to find the fun in the way you get your work done, you are using the power of play to fuel your productivity and motivation, ultimately driving results to contribute toward your company’s bottom line.
How does play at work benefit employees and teams differently?
For individuals, play at work helps us manage our energy. We know from the latest Neuroscience and Social Science research, along with Workforce and Industry Trend Reports, that engaging in play-based activities releases endorphins that boost energy, and improves brain functionality that stimulates the growth of brain cells, and improves memory.
Individuals can engage in various types of play at work to help manage their energy during the day. Each adult has their play preference, so finding out how you prefer to engage in play is essential. The science of play at work tells us that play motivates you to be productive because it activates your brain’s ability to:
For teams, play improves work performance. Engaging in play at work with your team bolsters authentic connection so that people trust each other and are more willing to take smart risks.
A review of Google’s top-performing teams found that psychological safety is critical to driving team performance. And play bolsters psychological safety. So why wouldn’t you make time to play with your team?
Ways to Play at Work to Fuel Productivity Levels and Motivation
To manage your energy, start by identifying your play preference. Whether you prefer imaginative play, physical play, object play, find what kind of play fuels you most right now. Then, schedule one play break for yourself.
For example, this week, during a day loaded with meetings, I plan to watch 50 Bullet Journal Doodle Ideas video on YouTube during my 15 min break. I have a personal interest in curating my penmanship to create greeting cards to give as gifts to clients. Similarly, Steve Jobs fueled productivity with play when he used calligraphy classes to fuel his creativity, inspiring Apple’s iconic font.
To drive team performance and employee connections, start a meeting with a game. One we love is a quick drawing game called Monster. If you have more time, organize a facilitated play event. We are happy to facilitate a Playbreak for you.
Or, consider scheduling a coworker club around similar interests. We love how The Nerdery created an authentic connection to build trust with a friendly competition during their lunch breaks NerdOlympics. And, this particularly well-suited play at work let software development teams find out who was the Nerdiest in the realm of the Nerds.
There are many ways to play at work to build trust and authentic connection. To help you develop your play at work toolkit, we’re giving away an Exclusive FREE! Game Guide so you can see for yourself how play fuels productivity and motivation.