More often then not, the concept of professionalism disregards aspects of spontaneity, excitement, joy, and exploration often associated with joy. As the idea of playing is considered childish, many companies, especially those in the event industry, try to stop employees and themselves from naturally engaging in their work in ways that are considered wrong. Lets take a look at this fear of being childish, and how promoting play can create a better more creative work environment.
The Fear of Being Childish
“The Opposite of Play Is Not Work, It’s Depression.” Brian Stutton-Smith. Play is a natural tendency everybody, at all ages, have. It can be stifled, it can be vilified, and it can be considered wrong. However, play has more often then not expressed itself as a means for people to deal with and overcome problems in both work and at home. By allowing playing in the workplace, employees feel more free to be themselves, finding innovative solutions to workplace problems and providing an overall higher degree of workplace productivity as a result. By embracing play, employees and you company win.
Why You Should Learn How To Play
Taking yourself too seriously can hurt your company, your collaborative relationships, and how others see you. Learning to play, or at least allowing yourself the ability to enter this mindset with severe personal judgment can remove many of the blocks keeping you from success in the workplace. Considered an unconventional leadership development style, play is none-the-less crucial for reaching creative employees and staff who respond well to a more open environment. It should be noted that embracing play does not mean that the work atmosphere will fall apart or that no one will take you seriously. Rather it is an acknowledgment of a basic human tool that can be utilized to improve your business.
How You Can Promote Play
Buy a Ping-Pong table. No seriously, allow for people to take some time off, to unwind, and generally be themselves when at work. Respect your workers, and trust that they are working towards the betterment of your company even if at the moment they are relaxing. By creating an atmosphere of accountability that stresses the importance of high quality completed tasks while also allowing employees the personal freedom to act like themselves will result in far better results then strictly attempting to control their actions. As always, a balance needs to be sought and found.
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