Work is serious business. From an early age, we are conditioned to separate work and play, effectively using one half of our brain in the office and embracing the other half only after the clock hits 5 p.m.. Industry standards, like reserved attire and rigid schedules, can quickly transform that Friday feeling into a Monday moan.
However, much is being learned about the benefits of letting loose and learning to play in the work place. Employees of all kinds are beginning to break out of their everyday routines and embrace the power of play in a professional way:
What is Play?
This may seem like a silly question initially, but as adults, it can be easy to lose touch with your playful spirit. Think of play in the workplace like grownup recess; play can be any meaningful duration of time spent embracing an activity or way of thinking that lies outside of your normally prescribed duties, such as a game or storytelling exercise.
Play as a State of Mind
Your office doesn’t need to have its own pinball machine or batting cages for you to embrace recreation. While events such as potlucks and corporate outings can provide a short-lived positive boost, they might not be enough to deter the disastrous effects of the daily grind.
In fact, the most important thing is to regularly embrace and consciously commit to the style of play that engages you, whether that involves playing an improv game with your team, finding a creative way to brainstorm or simply setting aside some time in your day to daydream.
Be a Team Player
Ultimately, the real power of play lies in its ability to bring coworkers together through communication, creativity and collaboration. One of the reasons we feel relaxed and confident around close friends is because we are comfortable to let go and embrace our ridiculous side. Imagine how freeing it would be to feel the same playful trust in the office!
Your cubicle may not remind you of a playground, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find time to add play to your day today! Share your ideas for embracing your playful side in the comment box below.