Who says it’s all work and no play?
Boost motivation and productivity in your organisation by introducing a culture that encourages and develops 'play'.
Research shows that employees who get involved in fun activities at work are more likely to have a greater sense of purpose and positivity — and we know if people FEEL GOOD they also FUNCTION WELL.
Having 75+ years of experience in experiential learning we know how impactful play can be for both individuals and organisations. Bring some to your workplace and you'll be surprised to see how quickly it impacts on creativity, collaboration, problem solving, and resilience.
How to bring 'play' into the workplace?
It's important to think how you will implement 'play' into your organisation to be inclusive to your people's different needs. Everyone has their own idea of fun after all!
At Brathay we understand this notion and introduce a sense of meaningful play through our unique approach to learning known as Awareness, Choice, Action. With the help of our expert facilitation, participants have autonomy to choose how far they stretch themselves enabling everyone to achieve their own goal.
Our top tip: Consider everyone in the group and encourage them to participate in a way they find fun whether that be organising, competing or socialising.
And if you want a few more ideas here's our three ways to introduce play into the workplace:
We're talking about moving your body, in whatever way feels good.
It is proven that regular exercise improves our mental health by helping us to manage stress, boost our self-esteem and focus our brain. It doesn't have to be intense exercise, something as simple as getting up for a short walk or doing some yoga-style moves behind your desk will get the blood flowing.
Of course it will improve physical wellbeing but it will also help break down an 'always-on' culture by encouraging staff to take proper breaks that will re-engerise them for the day ahead.
Need some ideas? Pick one of these ten to try as a team this week:
- Play a game of rounders/football/cricket/frisbee (or any other team sport) at your local park
- Volunteer for tree planting with your local woodland organisation
- Or volunteer for a beach or park clean up
- Practice tai chi
- Organise a scavenger hunt
- Play mini-golf
- Try orienteering
- Set up a lunch time yoga
- Go bowling
- Play 'Stuck In The Mud' or 'Tig' (not just for kids)
Remember playtime as a child? Not only was it fun but helped you learn and develop into the person you are today. Adopting a child-like curiosity by exploring, experimenting and creating will prepare you mind to learn and help you grow personally and professionally.
Organisations that encourage curiosity will see increased efficiency, less decision-making errors and a culture that celebrates diversity. But we understand with busy schedules it can be easy to stick to routine. Here are our top tips to boost you and your team's curious minds:
- Plan time to be curious
- Play brainteasers to get you thinking in a different way
- Ask why. And don't accept the answer 'because we always have done it this way'
- Reflect. We always build in time for reflection in our People Development programmes to encourage individuals to develop their self-awareness. Here's a great Reflective Practice resource from University of Cambridge to get you started.
Creativity is out-of-the-box thinking that can help organisations be problem-solvers and not problem-seekers. Fostering a creative environment in your team can help you get out of rut, boost positivity, reduce stress and ultimately increase productivity.
A fear of failure can prevent a creative team, so instill trust amongst your team and encourage risk-taking (within reason) and experimental thinking to ignite new ideas.
Here are 5 brilliant ways to spark creativity:
- Schedule time to share bold ideas. No idea is a wrong idea — it might not be possible to take forward but who knows what it could lead to
- Use images, colours or shapes to inspire visual thinkers
- Team building activities are a great way to explore a real issue you're experiencing in a different way
- Shift mindsets by changing the scenery: pack a picnic and have your team meeting at the park, or take your art enthusiast team member to a gallery for their next 1:1
- Start your next meeting with game to get the creative juices flowing, we love tic-tac-toe for some friendly competition.
And finally, always reflect, because even if it didn't work you can learn from your creative experiment.
Keen to bring play into your people development strategy? Well, we can help! Request a call today and we'll get back in touch shortly to learn more about your needs and how we can make a difference and your organisation.