When’s the last time you played? And what did (or would) that even look like?
I was reading something the other day and it talked about how much play can do for us. When we were young, it was fun! We looked forward to it because we used our imagination, it made us laugh, and we were often able to get out physical energy by running, jumping, swinging, whatever (which our parents really appreciated). As we’ve aged, we often think about play being unimportant or a waste of time.
We need to remember what play does for us. It encourages energy, creativity, curiosity, and can create bonds important to relationships.
When was the last time you encouraged your staff to play? I’ve always had toys that I leave out on my desk (slinky, stress balls, different things). It’s been interesting to watch people pick them up and play with them and sometimes the toys open conversations.
Regardless, it’s worth spending time playing periodically. A lot of companies have built “relaxation” areas into their offices. With the focus on return to office, some organizations are using them as enticements. But unless we encourage the use of play “equipment” or provide “recess”, much of the time these areas won’t be used.
Surprise your staff with play occasionally. Figure out what works for your staff. Whether it’s some sort of game, a physical activity, puzzles or something else, think about what will make your staff laugh and smile.
Odds are productivity and creativity will increase. And who knows, you might even enjoy it yourself!