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Playtime@work

Michele du Plessis

“Being playful at work allows you to better understand the person working next to you; it helps increase positive communication, which then builds bonds and inspires people to do better work,” Brian Lim, founder and CEO of The Emazing Group said.

We all know the adage (recorded circa 1659) of “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”. It is believed that without time off from work, a person becomes bored and boring. Unfortunately, in today’s world, no work means no pay and there are very few who can afford the leisurely life of all play and no work.

But, it does not mean that working long hours for 6 or 7 days a week has no room for play. “Current research suggests that organisations that provide opportunities for their staff to participate in playful, fun activities inside the workplace, reap various rewards. These benefits extend to the employees, their teams and the company itself. Games, or any other stimulating activity done for amusement, can help workers become more productive,” Michelle Moss, Director of assessments at Signium Africa said.

What are the benefits of being playful at work?

Benefit: a palpable shift in energy. Fun activities force people to be removed from the problems and refreshes the mind. That causes people to feel uplifted and with that comes more energy. “A short recess from work for a lively match with a colleague can break the monotony of repetitive duties or alleviate the stress of continuous problem-solving. A play-friendly workspace can, therefore, refresh staff, boost morale and increase job satisfaction.”

Benefit: Positive communication. “According to one survey from Salesforce, 86% of executives and employees attribute project failure to lack of communication and collaboration. When playing, workers have the opportunity to mingle, have fun together and challenge each other. That alone strengthens social bonds, enhances communication, and fosters collaboration – something companies spend millions on achieving through specially organised teambuilding events that pull workers away from the office completely. Having more cohesive teams, manned by happy employees, is a winning formula for organisational productivity and therefore profitability.”

Benefit: Increased profitability. “Further research reveals that engaged teams contribute to 21% greater profitability on average. Engagement is therefore not only essential to retaining talent but also improving earnings. Instead of playing incidentally, companies should embrace a balanced work-play culture. That can be a powerful tool for recruiting and retaining talent, and newer generations of workers are especially attracted to such an environment.”

Other benefits include less fatigue, boredom, stress and burnout. It increases trust, bonding and social interaction, greater commitment to work and a friendlier work atmosphere. Not only will the workplace be less stressful for managers and employees alike, but the use of resources – time, energy, focus and attention – will make a world of difference.

Information from Tale Spin Media.

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