Updated: May 9, 2020
I’ve been talking about the importance of play for the last few days. The changing weather and colors of the season have inspired me to spend my time doing whatever I can to soak it all in. That means getting as much "play time" as possible.
Aside from the fact that play is an essential part of living a full, 5 core life, it’s also an asset in any business. It is important to balance your personal life and work-life while maintaining a healthy existence. The balance between the two is fueled by the influence of play within a business. Choosing play will also build momentum in the 5 core areas of your life.
I’m sure you’ve heard the tales of startups and Fortune 500 companies alike that incorporate aspects of play into their companies. Companies like Google and Airbnb design their offices to encourage movement and creativity. Etsy has a “maker’s funhouse” for their employees to experiment in. Pixar takes things even further with a cereal bar, pool, and secret offices.
Around the world, there are many notable companies that have incorporated the aspect of play into their businesses. According to a study done on Indeed.com, top companies such as Google, Dell, Nike, Capital One, and Cisco, to name a few, really strive to create the importance of play in their workplace. In doing so, these companies and many more provide for a healthy work-life balance.
There’s a reason they tie in play with the daily motions of business: it gives their employees the freedom to combine play and work makes them more productive and creative. Being productive and creative makes them happy, and in turn, momentum quickly builds the 5 cores in their lives. People are happy when they can have a good work-life balance because it gives them the pause needed to deal with the daily chaos of life.
It’s no secret that balancing work and life makes you better at both. Luxembourg is the most productive nation in the world, and they focus heavily on getting that balance right. Do you know who is the least productive? Japan. The country known for pulling the longest hours out of its employees also gets the least out of those employees. France, on the other hand, has passed a law that allows employees to ignore emails when out of the office and has 25 federally mandated vacation days. The range of attitudes toward work-life balance is clear in these countries. This gives us a good example of how the absence of play can impact your work and personal life.
So, wherever you are, and whatever you do, make sure you play. Play makes each core stronger. Without it, you will feel unbalanced, unhappy, and left to deal with the chaos of life without a breather. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to all 5 core areas of your life. Too much fuel in one area causes failure in both machines and humans.