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Bring Out Your Inner Child at Work

March 4, 2023

By Linda Olejniczak, courtesy of SBAM approved partner, ASE

Adulting is not always fun. Instead of dealing with zoom meetings, deadlines, and endless emails, recess and taking naps seems like a far better deal.

Funny thing is, your inner child is there with you more at work than you might think. Do you find yourself doodling or ever fill your coworker’s cubicle with balloons on their birthday? Do you still want the piece of cake with the flowers? And who doesn’t hate getting their report card…I mean performance review.

Play at work boosts productivity and strengthens a team’s bond; laughing decreases stress! Now we’re not suggesting you surprise the team with a bouncy castle, but we do have some ideas to help tap into your inner child at work.

1. Ask questions and be curious

Create a safe culture to ask questions.  A growth mindset vs. fixed mindset. Stop multitasking and focus when you are listening. This allows you to ask questions and get down to the tasks at hand. Take on that new project, volunteer to do something you’ve never done before, and embrace being a beginner.

2. Talk to someone new

Offices have changed and some of us don’t even go into one anymore. That doesn’t mean you can’t reach out virtually and chat with new coworkers. Make it a habit to reach out to a coworker each week. Put it on the calendar. You will feel great and so will they!

3. Gamification

Remember how exciting it was to complete your reward charts at school? They are big motivation tools. You can create an “adult” version of the sticker chart. Divide up some work and whoever gets it done last makes the coffee. Set a deadline for a project.  When you meet the deadline celebrate with lunch at a favorite spot. Companies can even start wellness challenges for walking or meditation.

4. Fun & Games

Recently, ASE hosted, for a second time, virtual Family Feud for our staff. This took about an hour and was a great time to share with our team. Many laughs were had as we guessed our way into winning $20,000 virtual dollars.

All work and no play is dull. The benefits of play are very beneficial to a company’s culture. Research has found evidence that play at work is linked to less fatigue, boredom, stress, and burnout in workers. Play is also positively associated with job satisfaction, sense of competence, and creativity.

What does your workplace do when it comes to play at work?

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