“The opposite of play is not work, its depression.” – Brian Sutton-Smith, Harvard University. So a lack of play at work ideas could lead to a depressing workplace then?

“There is good evidence that if you allow employees to engage in something they want to do, (which) is playful, there are better outcomes in terms of productivity and motivation.”  – Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play.
Play is a source of relaxation and stimulation for the brain and body. Play is a sure (and fun) way to develop your imagination, creativity and problem-solving abilities. Play makes work more productive and pleasurable so the modern manager needs to have a kit bag of play at work ideas.

Play is when we feel at our most ‘alive’. Play is not a luxury it is a necessity at home and in the workplace. Play teaches us how to manage and transform our ‘negative’ emotions and experiences.

Play helps us develop and improve our social skills and so our verbal communications and body language, freedom and boundaries, cooperation and teamwork; all these attributes are important in the workplace.

Happiness is one of the outcomes of play at work. Creating a playful workplace gives you the following;

  • Increased levels of trust between employees
  • Developed loyalty throughout the organisation
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Innovation and greater creativity in problem solving and product/service design
  • Enhanced leadership skills
  • Improved teamwork and productivity

Here are some ideas we suggest that can increase a sense of fun and play in your workplace.

  • Have your own creative corner full of pictures and photos of interest to you and others around you
  • Each employee to have their own ‘mood board’ to show their hopes and dreams
  • Amusing screen savers that bring a smile to the face
  • Work based fun signs/inspirational posters around the office
  •  Revamp the staffroom to promote happiness and relaxation, get rid of those hard chairs use bean bags and sofas
  • Have an area where you can chill out to watch DVD’s or movie clips that inspire and make laughter
  • Designate an hour a week where everyone gets together and chills with a drink/nibbles
  • Chill out room for that quick ‘nap’ with relaxing music and incense
  • Make a fuss of special days and activities. Get staff into a happy frame of
  • mind by putting up decorations, organising food and by doing activities for birthdays, milestones and achievements
  • Have achievement awards that can be badges, flags, evenings out, cinema tickets etc.
  • Have badge days where everyone designs and wears a ‘fun’ badge of their own
  • Have the best ‘tie’ award for the men stuck in their ways!
  • Women – How about a ‘funky- shoe’ day?

Click here for a list of some of the most awesome company offices where employees live and breathe the concept of play at work.

Books About Play at Work

So much has been written on the subject of play at work so here are a few interesting books about the subject.

  1. Mindfulness at Work: Flourishing in The Workplace
  2. Play at Work: How Games Inspire Breakthrough Thinking
  3. The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today
  4. From Workplace to Playspace: Innovating, Learning and Changing Through Dynamic Engagement

Videos About Play Ideas at Work

And for interesting videos on play in the workplace;

Isabel Behncke: Evolution’s gift of play, from bonobo apes to humans

Stuart Brown: Play is more than fun

And A Final Note For Play Ideas at Work

All work and no play is the formula for boring and predictable, not for a remarkable brand or organization that sticks at the forefront of the customer’s mind.

Next time the office is getting stale and stuck in its ways why not consider ‘The Pink Glove Dance’?

First seen at thecustomersshoes.com