All work and no play

Do you work for a company that treats you like a workhorse or a number? Feeling like this at work can be seriously detrimental to our productivity and success. Some companies are listening and are beginning to understand the importance of happiness and play in our adult lives. Success and play go hand-in-hand according to all the latest scientific studies. Even the most intelligent animals go on to play well into adulthood, so all work and no play does indeed make you dull!

Play is said to improve memory and helps to stimulate growth of the cerebral cortex. Studies in rats have shown that those who play with toys have a thicker cerebral cortex and a burst of growth in brain cells. So if you want to be smarter, you’d better get playing. The rats who played were also better at problem-solving.

All work and no play

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People learn most when at play, which is why children love it so much. To treat your little ones to some extra outside fun, take a look at Children’s wooden climbing frames. For more information, visit http://www.niclimbingframes.com/climbing-frames. It’s a form of practice, experimentation and imagination that helps us to gain understanding of the world around us and ourselves. A lack of play and the freedom to create slows down our productivity and cognitive abilities, which is why draconian bosses should take note.

Some companies that have taken this on board include Google. Organic gardens, free breakfast, lunch and dinner cooked fresh everyday and micro kitchens are just a few of the perks of working at the Google campus. Quicken Loans, a multibillion dollar online mortgage company had 96% of its staff saying they were allowed to have fun at work.

ZestFinance have a ‘no suits’ rule and the atmosphere in the office is all about comfort and flexibility to ensure that their employees enjoy being at work and don’t hate it. Working for Flickr sounds like a blast too as when work gets a little stressy they take a break for a game of finger darts or an in-house DJ dance session. They have even been known to invent their own silly games and one of their videos recently went viral.

Each morning at Bigcommerce in Austin, Texas is started with a ping pong competition to wake up and get their heads in the game. If you need a quick break, there are even swings in the office! In the Sydney office, one room is decorated like a park, complete with fake grass.

Employees at Apportable get to work and play with games all day and you must be prepared to get stuck in with a round of whatever video game is plugged in that day. Their office is a converted martial arts studio so there is loads of space and they even indulge in the odd Nerf gun battle when things get a bit too much.

Work hard, play hard is said for a reason and it’s important to allow people to let off steam. Consider the productivity rates of these ‘fun’ companies and their low sickness rates and you’ll see that businesses should be investing more in the well-being of their employees to really reap the benefits.

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