In the creative business we are constantly confronted with deadlines and quick turn-arounds which can be very stressful on creative people. Sometimes the ideas ‘flow’ quickly, often times they do not. Creativity can be a struggle. That’s why it’s important to take a break every 90 minutes or so and just have a little fun.
Taking time out of your day to ‘play’ helps the mind refresh itself. This is why at Thunderstruck, we have several ‘toys and games’ available to play with. There is tabletop foosball and air hockey, a mini Pac Man arcade game, a remote controlled car and of course our favorite… Nerf guns (we all have one with ammunition). It’s not uncommon to hear the spontaneous outbreak of a Nerf gun battle in the office.
Not only is office play important, fun outside activities also help keep us relaxed and refreshed. Things like taking your staff out for ice cream on a warm, sunny day or going to the park. Consider a playtime retreat. We have done mini golf, dressed up in costume and booked the Slowride Pedal Bar one afternoon, took a half day off to do paintball, and we have even solved puzzles to escape the rooms at Brainstorm Escapes.
Having this time to play makes our days less stressful and more enjoyable. And statistics show that happier people are more productive and creative in the work place. Playing stimulates the mind and helps to nourish a positive attitude. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy… ever heard that one? We just cannot be consumed by our work without some sort of a break. That’s why weekends were invented.
Play is especially critical for creative types to innovate and well, be creative. It also acts as a great stress reliever and builds camaraderie among the team. When people are having fun and happy at work, they feel alive at work. They are actually using the emotional state to fuel this energy. It’s important for a company to provide an environment that promotes happiness, and not just for the employees either. The greatest competitive edge in today’s global economy is a positive and engaged workforce.
So designate a time to take a break and play. At Thunderstruck, playtime is usually spontaneous. Much depends on the stress of the project one is working on at the time. A large catalog, brochure or website can sometimes be daunting and emotionally draining, zapping the creative spark of the designer. Taking breaks to “goof” off a little refreshes and recharges the creative batteries.
As a leader, providing an atmosphere where play is encouraged builds moral and a closer team. So your probably thinking what if all the person does is play instead of actually doing work? That is always a possibility, but let’s face it, that’s why we have performance reviews, right?
Create a playful culture and watch productivity soar and absenteeism diminish. Your employees and teams will thank you. Happier people are healthier people as well as more productive.
As the great sociologist and futurist Brian Solis says “With balance, generally comes greater clarity, equilibrium and productivity.”