The science behind play … especially in the workplace

Play is an essential aspect of our lives; it is the means through which human beings grow by exploring new possibilities, develop awareness of self and other, and enhance their coping abilities when faced with life challenges.

Although contemporary society maintains a strong distinction between ‘play’ and ‘work’, many researchers of play argue that this distinction must be challenged if healthier and more enabling work environments are to be developed and fostered.  

Play is believed to facilitate learning as well as social relationships conducive to healthy development. It enhances positive affect and motivation, is associated with emotional stability, divergent thinking, creative expression, and overall improvement of well-being in both children and adults. 

The literature is in fact unanimous in stressing the importance of play for the personal and professional development of individuals and groups working in various fields and domains in society. A playful attitude at work is associated with stress-reduction and better and more adaptive rather than avoidant and negative coping strategies. 

In fact, playfulness in adults has been associated with creativity, intrinsic life aspirations and goals, stress coping, positive behavior in the workplace, increased cooperation amongst team members, and overall better quality of life.

At L3b, we believe that play seriously works in humanizing as well as optimizing work environments.  We strive to empower professionals to develop playfulness to better respond to the challenges of their work and to enhance the overall quality of their and their clients’ life experiences.

“That’s why play works. First, it comes naturally to human beings. It doesn’t have to be learned; it’s infinitely adaptable to the unique personalities and perspective of the individual involved. And it can complement virtually any other practice. It is not about finding one answer but about trying different things until one works. It’s about using what’s at hand and being open to changing directions” 

                                                                                                                              Christopher Byrne, Funny Business