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  • Kick Ass Zombie Hunter

Work Needs Play

Happy woman dancing on a factory floor

Work isn’t the opposite of play. Boredom is.

When you encourage people to bring play into their work, it relieves stress and lifts spirits, builds relationships, allows for creativity and innovation, and increases engagement.

This is because play is built into us as human beings. Play is in our nature. It is a universal behaviour we’ve used from the beginning to learn new knowledge, develop new skills and abilities, solve problems, and connect with others.

Play keeps us happy and healthy.

Play doesn’t mean ping-pong tables and team building events. It means allowing people to be playful with how they do their actual work. Making work playful generally happens in two ways. One, by using humour, imagination, and joking with others. Two, by creating challenges or competitions for yourself.

We see lots of examples of the former on social media. The flight attendant giving safety announcements. The construction worker stopping traffic. Or, the Starbucks barista studying for their degree in zoology who asks customers what their favourite animal is and then provides them with facts while making their coffee.

A sense of competition might be giving yourself the challenge of only making x number of spelling mistakes when writing a report. Or saying helping one more customer than you did the day before.

Play isn’t something we need to delay until the work is all done. Play and work can happen together.

And with Gallup reporting a staggering 53% of people being unhappy at work and a University of Warwick study finding companies with happy employees outperform the competition by 20%, it’s better when they do.



Fight workplace zombies in your organization and join Team Human! Gather a group of fellow workplace zombie hunters to discuss our most recent blog post. Use the questions below to kick start your conversation.

  1. How often do you add play into your work? How does it make you feel when you do?

  2. How can you add humour or imagination into your work?

  3. What challenges or competitions can you create for yourself within your work?


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