Returning to work after a vacation can sometimes be difficult.
But recharging your batteries about regular routines, deadlines, and the odd water cooler conversation doesn’t have to be unpleasant.
Catherine Price, author of The Power of Fun, says this mindset can be alleviated by tapping into your playful side.
“Gambling in particular tends to scare adults, because we take ourselves far too seriously,” Price told ABC RN’s This Working Life.
“We think that means having to wear silly hats and play kid’s birthday games. That’s not what that means – I don’t want to do that either.”
Instead, it’s about having a lighter attitude in your work environment, whenever possible.
Price says it’s because when people let their guard down in the “playful spirit,” it allows better relationships to flourish.
She conducted an online survey that asked participants what their favorite entertainment memories were and was thrilled to find that fun doesn’t have to cost a lot.
“One of my favorites…is of someone who said one of his funniest memories was about nothing more than going out in the rain with his grandfather without an umbrella and deliberately letting himself go. soak,” she said.
“I think we have misconceptions about pleasure, that it’s only for the privileged. It’s only if you have free time. It’s only if you have money. But in fact, it’s a lot more accessible than we think.”
find the balance
In the process of encouraging play in our work environments, we have to be careful that one person’s idea of fun doesn’t become another person’s hell at work, says Anetta Pizag, coach in Workplace.
Pizag has a background in architecture and works with organizations on their physical environments and work practices to help employees feel, behave and perform at home. Their best.
She says that while it’s not uncommon for theme park-like office spaces to receive their fair share of criticism, there’s clever intent behind this design.
“It’s to create an environment where people feel safe and invited and encouraged to let their inner child participate in the creative process,” she explains.
But there’s no point having a ping pong table in an office if it’s placed right next to an area where people are trying to concentrate.
“They are then driven crazy by the constant sound of the ball. And I’ve actually spoken to people who have said they have a ping pong table, that’s their biggest hate,” she says .
Yet she also spoke to people who felt more authentically connected with their colleagues after playing ping pong. Their relationship changed from purely professional to more personal, which improved their sense of belonging to an organization.
Building better relationships doesn’t have to involve alcohol, says Catherine Price.
“Yes, alcohol will relax people. But not everyone wants to drink, so I started doing something where I find things easy to organize,” she says.
She gives the example of when she told her co-workers she was going to a skating rink and encouraged them to join her. “People came and they had fun,” she says.
She says it’s important that the idea of having fun isn’t forced by the organization or management.
“The thing, of course, is if your employer says ‘now we’re going to have fun,’ it’s not very fun,” Price says.
“I think there are ways to approach things a little askew…first of all, just acknowledge the fun you already have, even if it’s just small moments, acknowledge the co-workers you’re with. really enjoy spending time.”
Also identify what your fun magnets are, i.e. the people, activities, or settings that tend to generate the feeling of fun for you.
in additionfun that is contagious can also help create a safer space.
“When people are laughing or giggling, people are going to be more themselves,” Pizag says.
Having more fun at work can also improve employees’ physical and mental health in terms of social connection, Price says.
“A lot of people know that being under constant emotional stress is very bad for us physically, because of the effects it has on a hormone in our body called cortisol,” she says.
Cortisol helps the body react to physical threats, and as a result, it increases blood pressure, heart rate, and blood sugar.
“It’s not good if it’s chronically elevated over time. And that leads to increased risk in pretty much every chronic disease you can think of,” she says.
“So anything you can do to reduce stress is extremely good for your physical health.
“Putting that together, I think it stands to reason that pleasure is not frivolous at all. It is actually a health intervention.”
RN in your inbox
Get more stories that go beyond the news cycle with our weekly newsletter.
#Playfulness #scare #adults #ways #fun #work #expert