My father has been working for a major window and door company just outside the Twin Cities in Minnesota for 18 years. He is a software engineer – a mega geek who for the longest time took a break from looking at a computer screen all day by playing on his phone – looking at another screen. This habit gave his eyes and his mind little retreat from technology and information overload. This left him constantly drained and disengaged at work.
The turning point came when he finally asked me, “How do I take a break that will fill me up? What do people do to come back to work refreshed and renewed?”
I exclaimed, “Play!”
He responded, “What do you mean, play?”
I told him that play is an activity that you do because you enjoy it. But first you have to be ready and willing to engage in play. Activating that mindset looks different for everyone, but it is easy to build a sort of “play toolbox” so that you have different fun activities to choose from that bring you joy, immerse you in the moment, and provide a reenergizing experience.
Together we created a repertoire of animating practices that he now uses every day to not only fuel his work day, but also the work days of his colleagues. I still get emails from his co-workers three years later thanking me for equipping my father to become the Play Guide of the office!
Lucky for us, there is a major holiday just around the corner that celebrates this very thing- taking time to play at work, to have fun as a way to activate potential energy and catalyze productivity. That holiday is…..drum roll please…..
International Have Fun at Work Day!
That’s right, folks- on Friday, January 27th, the whole world is (or should be!) celebrating play at work.
Play refuels us to become more engaged and motivated at work. To give you an idea of why play is so needed, here are some alarming statistics on the lack of engagement:
According to Gallup polls,
- Only 13% of employees across 142 countries are engaged in their jobs
- Actively disengaged employees continue to outnumber engaged employees 2 to 1
- Only 22% of US employees are engaged and thriving
- 70% of American workers are “not engaged” or “actively disengaged” at their jobs.
- Disengaged employees cost the US $450 billion – $550 billion per year
Why play, you say? Having fun has heaps of benefits!
The science of play tells that having fun at work delivers beneficial outcomes:
For individuals, play:
- Is the best source of personal motivation
- Improves application of creative ideas to solve challenging problems
For teams, play:
- Enhances communication
- Builds trust among the team
- Invigorates morale
How can you celebrate this epic holiday at work?
Ziksana Consulting is here to provide you with some game guides for you to lead the way to have some fun with your colleagues, especially on the holiday later this month.
Be ‘playful’ by engaging in a creative start to a meeting. We’ve created a video Game Guide for you that provides a simple activity that you and your coworkers. Here are the details of the game:
Name of the Game: The Crazies
Materials: Timer on phone or watch. Music optional
# of Players: 2+
How to Play:
Gather 5 minutes before your meeting is scheduled to start. Parse yourselves out into partners or groups of 3.
Round 1: Add 20 seconds to your timer. Once you’re all ready, come up with a unique, never seen before handshake with your small team.
Round 2: Add 15 seconds to your timer. With the same team, quickly come up with a brand new dance move.
That’s it! Research suggests that even just a few minutes of play at work fuels productivity to help you work smarter and better together.
So here you go, give our first ever Video Game Guide a go! And share with us your experience! Leading up to International Have Fun at Work Day, Ziksana Consulting is hosting a contest. Enter to win our favorite leadership development book.
All you have to do to enter to win is:
- Follow us on Instagram @ziksanaplay
- Share a photo of you and/or your team playing at work
- Tag us #ziksanaplay
Easy as 1,2,3. Winners will be announced on International Have Fun at Work Day – Friday, January 27th. Prizes will be shipped for arrival early the following work week. Happy Playing!