Imagine a workplace where people are allowed to play and even better encouraged to play. Believe it or not, that is what is happening in some organizations. Look at Google, all employees have access to and can play during their workday. They have all sorts of activities like bowling, meditation, wall climbing, volleyball and more. Facebook, LinkedIn and Ideo also provide opportunities for play time at work, anything from ping-pong to arcade games and a few take it one step further by instilling a culture of play. These fun activities are not just for lunch, employees can get up and go play when they get tired of working on a project or answering emails.
Most think of play at work as a distraction, — inappropriate or simply a waste of time. The paradigm of play is that it’s seen as taking time away from “real work.” Just think, what if what we thought work could benefit from play? What if, the opposite of play isn’t work, but rather boredom? We have made assumptions over the years that play doesn’t belong during work hours. As a communication and culture consultant, the typical conversation with clients is often about employee engagement and how to create a more positive and energized workforce. I believe play is the vital missing solution at work. Play in my definition is simply having fun, being joyful and energized. Wouldn’t it be great if all employees were having fun while at work?
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