This past weekend we had our monthly meetup. Our topic was More Fun From 9-5 and we talked about the benefits of fun, how much fun we currently have in our day and how to bring more fun into our work.

A leading researcher on play, Stuart Brown, says the opposite of fun is not work but depression.

It has also been determined that play is a biological need like sleep. If you are anything like me when I get sleep deprived, you feel short-tempered, don’t make logical decisions and are just plain miserable to be around.

This is also true if you are play deprived.

In fact, according to Brown, there is a direct correlation between play deprivation and mass murderers. [Link to article]

I’m not saying that you are this close to taking up residence at Rikers Island, but there is a National Institute of Play and a newsletter called The Strong from the American Journal of Play for a reason.  Play should be your priority.

The Benefits of Fun

There are many benefits of fun that will probably not surprise you, but they are worth being reminded of and they include:

  • Stress and anxiety reduction
  • Improved immune system
  • Lowering of blood pressure
  • Temporary pain relief
  • Improved brain function
  • Learned perseverance
  • Skill-building
  • More optimistic outlook overall

When you think about bringing more fun into your workday you will have additional benefits including:

  • Greater bonding and strong relationships built
  • Improved cooperation between you and your office mates
  • A time when your subconscious can work out solutions to work problems
  • Fostering of empathy and trust which are the foundations of building inclusive work cultures
  • Increased creativity and innovation
  • More laughter and smiles!

NOTE:  One thing about creating more fun at work, as one Meetup member pointed out, this can also be ripe for exclusion so making sure that you create opportunities that work for everyone is key!

Some Ideas for Bringing More Fun into Your 9-5

During the meetup we broke into groups and brainstormed ways we could bring more fun to our work and reap the benefits along the way.

Here is our list:

  • Play cards or charades at lunch
  • Listen to fun music
  • Chair Yoga or other exercises that all can partake in
  • Doodle
  • Hula Hoop
  • Sing aloud
  • Stretch
  • Have a “Floss” dance break
  • Laugh out loud – check out a video below and I dare you not to laugh!
  • Trivia Contests
  • Have a White Board at the entrance of the office with a fun question on it that people respond to with their name attached. You learn about each other and build a more inclusive environment
  • Celebrate the birthdays of the month and have names on a bulletin board of who is celebrating on what day
  • Take your pet to work day – especially easy now that everything is virtual
  • Virtual happy hours
  •  Ice Cream Soda Fridays
  • Tag You’re It – Have to come up with some fun thing to do the next week/month
  • Do Random Acts of Fun – pass around a funny figure or noise maker
  • Office Scavenger hunts
  • Take fun walks
  • Volunteer together
  • Take a “mini-vacation” while you wait for something to print or a program to load.

I would love to see your ideas and things you have done at work that were fun and helped build stronger bonds. Post to our FACEBOOK Group.

Back in the day, play was part of people’s daily life and not just something kids did. As adults, we often see play as a hobby or something we do on the weekends. Can I get a TGIF anyone!

Or play is getting a massage or having a couple of glasses of wine. I’m not knocking some pampering but let’s not forget that play takes on many forms.

Play is art. Play is music. Play is daydreaming and flirting and using your imagination. Play is sacred. And, according to Play Coach Kaitlyn Lyons, www.delightfulmovementcoaching.com, play fuels work like nothing else.

Do you need any more reasons to become the Ambassador of Play at your office? I didn’t think so😊.