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Play is a Good 4-Letter Word
Does “play” have a place at work?
Some leaders support play—Richard Branson. Some leaders don’t—Jeff Bezos.
Yet, play or fun is a must-have in any work environment. In fact, it can be an antidote to a high-pressure workplace. Encouraging play can create benefits for both the individual AND the business.
- Increases productivity: A Brigham Young University study says when a team does something fun together, their productivity increased by as much as 20%.
- Fosters innovation: Humor is the result of surprise. Surprise creates novelty in the brain, which prompts sparks for new ideas to emerge.
- Unifies team members: Organized play can enable team members to share common objectives and work together to accomplish a goal.
- Enables team members to build bonds: Fun activities create opportunities for colleagues to see more sides of each other than just work.
- Releases stress: Fun releases dopamine (pleasure and reward) and serotonin (natural mood stabilizer), which both combat cortisol (stress hormone).
Here are a few ways to incorporate more play at work:
- Celebrate events (birthdays, new babies, milestones, holidays)
- Revel in small wins or accomplishments
- Host a food contest, e.g. a chili cook-off
- Create or host games, e.g. mini-golf in the office or a Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament
- Hire a comedian for a team meeting
- Share favorite (work appropriate) Tik Tok videos
Now go have fun!