Add Some Play To Your Workday To Increase Productivity

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy." - Jack Torrance

There's a lot of talk about work-life balance these days, but what about work-play balance?

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Author and psychiatrist Stuart Brown, MD, compares play to oxygen. In his book Play, he writes, “...it’s all around us, yet goes mostly unnoticed or unappreciated until it is missing.”

“When employees have the opportunity to play, they actually increase their productivity, engagement and morale.” - Dr. Stuart Brown

As a coworking space, we have members rather than employees. A lot of our members are entrepreneurs or small business owners, and they need a break from the grind too.

Did you know that the last Friday of January is National Fun at Work Day?

We believe that you should try to incorporate a little fun into every workday. To get you started, we've come up with some suggestions to help you make your days a little less boring. 

Video Games

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Seriously? Yes, seriously. 

In a 2017 study by Micheal Rupp and coauthors, video games were shown to reduce stress, plus increase engagement and cognitive performance.

If you're still having trouble believing this, here is a BBC article all about how gaming can make you more productive. 

Some workspaces have video gaming systems in-house. If not, you can indulge in a classic game of Solitaire on your computer. Our phones provide access to games like Candy Crush (it's okay to admit you play them too).

Caution: If you're the type that can't stop playing until you've beaten the next level, this may not be the best type of play for you. 

Move your body

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You can experience these benefits by adding exercise to your regular daily routine: 

  • Improved concentration
  • Sharper memory
  • Faster learning
  • Prolonged mental stamina
  • Enhanced creativity
  • Lower stress

I don't know about you, but I could use a little bit more of each of these in my day.

A walk is a low impact and easy way to get some of this good stuff. Better yet, grab a coworker and tell jokes or share a funny story while you stroll together. 

Our South Edmonton URBN Cowork location has a beautiful path that wraps around the lake directly behind the building. You get the double benefit of a walk and some fresh air, which is win-win.

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Hitting a recreation center or gym is another way to add some play into your workday and get the benefits of exercise. Most major city centers have a wide variety of options and offer free trials so you can find the one that you love.

Our Sherwood Park URBN Cowork location is a few minutes away from Millenium Place,  which offers swimming, basketball courts, skating and a wide variety of classes. 

For some serious play, places like The Rec Room, offer ax throwing, bowling, pool, and a lot more. 

If you're looking for a slower pace and you're into yoga, there are lots of studios in South Edmonton and Sherwood Park. Most offer classes throughout the day, including some around lunch if your idea of play is a little more Zen. 

We ran a series of yoga sessions for our members in Sherwood Park and it was a lot of fun. We are planning to run more sessions and bring them to our South Edmonton location too. 

Some office and coworking spaces have play built right in. Roundhouse, for example, has stationary bikes that will charge your devices with pedal power. Few do this as well as Google does though.

Although we may not have a Blue Library with a secret passage like Google, we do have "It's a Secret" at our South Edmonton location. 

People Time

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You may not consider going out to lunch with your peers playtime, but maybe you're doing it wrong.

When you're able to step away from your work, try to get into a lighter play frame of mind, even if it's just for a quick coffee break or group lunch outing.

A simple coffee break can turn into play when you encourage some of your peers to join you. Grab a deck of cards, laugh about the ridiculous thing your partner or kid did recently, and let work slip away for a few minutes. 

"Work doesn't work without play." - Shonda Rhimes

We've recently started a monthly lunch, that isn't about learning a new business skill or networking. It's purely about connecting, laughing and of course eating. A new restaurant each time makes it a fun culinary adventure.

Even networking events can incorporate some play. We've had groups that come into our space like YEG High Vibe Tribe, work some fun activities into their event.

One last thing to keep in mind is that a lot of us are programmed that work needs to be all about work. You may feel some resistance to adding some play in your day.

Give yourself permission to break free from the "hustle & grind" with a little play.

~ Heather

PS: If you haven't had the chance to check out our coworking spaces in Edmonton and Sherwood Park, Dylan & I would love to show you around and answer your questions about coworking. Book a tour now.