Play at Work: Increasing Communication and Productivity in the Workplace

June 1, 2017


Think about the last time you experienced play — maybe it was a game of softball in the park or a round of trivia at a bar.

Now think about the people around you during that moment. Think about the laughs you traded, the high fives you shared and the stories you now have to tell. Do you feel more connected?

Imagine if you could bring this playfulness to the workplace to connect with your co-workers and be part of a community where people truly care about each other and the company.

At ZogSports, America’s largest social sports community and corporate culture solutions provider, we believe life is better when you have real personal connections, caring communities, and a sense of play in all aspects of your life — including at work.

We feel so strongly about creating better company cultures that we’ve launched a new arm of our business focused exclusively on bringing play to work. And the added bonus? Research by the National Institute of Play has shown that when employees experience play at work, they actually increase their productivity, engagement and morale.

We spend the majority of our week at work and with our colleagues. As our work habits have evolved based on advancements in technology, new industries and different challenges, the way we interact with each other must evolve as well. We believe the future of work can be fun, and have a real impact on overall business results.

Bring play to your office and increase communication by implementing these tips:

• Incorporate play into your daily work. Take a look at the recurring meetings you have scheduled. Are there ways you can add play to each of these meetings? Whether it’s an all-staff, a weekly 1:1 or a team meeting, think about ways you can infuse fun. At ZogSports, we’ve found a way to incorporate play into our daily team huddles. Rather than make them only focused on business, we often incorporate playful questions and activities such as trivia, snacks, or opening icebreakers to add an element of fun.

• Bring games into the office. While perks certainly do not equal culture, bringing games such as foosball or ping pong gets people up and away from their desks and encourages them to spend time with each other and to increase communication across teams. Remember: Perks do not create a great culture. You create a great culture by giving people the opportunities to connect, collaborate and have fun together.

• Provide healthy competition. Who doesn’t love reaching a goal? Setting either individual or team goals, and building healthy competition to achieve them, is a great way to build camaraderie. While this is often a tactic used on sales teams, think about other areas of the business where you can start a challenge and create friendly competition.

• Get up and moving. Taking walking meetings or having standing desks is a great way to get people up and out of their normal routines. This encourages people to think differently and interact in new ways.

• Host a company event. Sometimes, it takes getting out of the office and having a new experience together to build new bonds with your colleagues. At ZogSports, we work with companies year-round by planning field days, picnics, holiday parties and more. These events are more than just a company event — they’re an opportunity to get people to play, communicate more and enjoy spending time with each other.

Implementing these tactics will humanize your workplace. After all, people strive for connection and community in their lives — so why not start in the workplace?

Let’s play.

Samantha Roblin

Samantha Roblin is the general manager of the ZogSports Corporate Culture Business. Originally from Boston, she loves the winter and Boston sports, and iscommitted to helping others feel connected and fulfilled in all aspects of their lives, especially at work.


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