Staring at a screen all day can be debilitating, especially since most companies adhere to the myth of an eight-hour day being most effective. The stagnant, confines of an employee’s space in the office can be uninspiring, which is a serious issue when it comes to productivity.
Studies including one by the University of Warwick have shown that happy employees are significantly more productive, so it might be time to consider that play time could be an effective driver of that happiness. Taking a break to play can completely shift the focus from work for a while, enabling staff to return to what they were doing with renewed energy and focus.
Although there has been some criticism of utilising play areas in the professional space, the purchases of games for UK workplaces is on the rise proving that the benefits outweigh the naysayers. If playtime at work can engender greater staff connectivity and higher productivity, it’s worth investing in.
The preference to step away from work and then return to it is actually reflective of a growing anti-systematic movement; just as the traditional 9-5 working hours at many companies are slowly becoming obsolete, the manner in which people work is also changing. Employees can still be reliable and responsible by allowing time for fun, and rather than acting as a fragmenting influence on individuals’ focus, enjoyable games can draw in the attention of participants.
Incorporating switchbacks into the trajectory of the working day seems to only bolster the capacity of the modern worker, whose attention is already used to being regularly displaced.
A growing number of companies are encouraging staff to play in order to break away from work for a short while and return with fresh eyes (and minds). Google famously has climbing, bowling, and volleyball, but small companies don’t need Google’s budget to interweave fun into their working culture.
Here are some popular ways companies have incorporated play into the workspace:
- Ping pong tables
- Pool tables
- Board games
- Video games
Has your company prioritised play at work, and if so, how? Let us know on our social media accounts.
Rosie is a qualified Journalist, NCTJ certified, and is currently an MSt student in Literature and Arts at Oxford University. Having worked in editing, communications, and brand strategy in agencies in Seoul and London, she is passionate about producing intelligent writing with practical and creative value. Previously a Content Editor and Writer at the UK Domain.Read full profile