Every day we are strongly focused on work and family and we have little time to enjoy other things. At some point, when passing from child to adult, people stop playing, some because «it is a children’s thing», others because of vagrancy, some because of loss some skills (almost always because of lack of training), but mostly we stop playing because a change of habits, we change the games by the television or any mobile device. But being an adult does not mean that we have to stop playing, just like children, we can learn a lot by playing and a lot of games uses the same rules as a business world.
Why do adults also need to play?
Playing is not only essential for children, it is an important way to relax, learn and motivate also for adults. By playing we enhance our imagination, creativity, problem-solving ability and feel good about ourselves.
By playing we forget the problems and we are focussing on the experience of the game, that we are ‘living’ at the moment, not in our goals, what we are ‘playing in the present moment’, we call this Playfulness (being conscious in the moment Present through the game). When you are in Playfulness you need nothing more to do than to continue playing with the others, and with yourself, in order to be well and and learn.
For this reason, posing challenges of our day to day at work as if they were a game allows us to have another vision of the problems, a more playful vision and therefore more attractive from the point of view to follow to the end and find the solution of the game.
The Benefits of Playfulness in Adults
Playing is crucial in all ages. Playing can make you happier, reduce stress, learn more and faster and connect with others in an active way. By playing you do things with more desire and this increases productivity and efficiency. Introducing «game» elements in the day to day business is beneficial for people and for results, and the results are superior when more than one person participates in the game.
The most important benefits of introducing the game into the day-to-day business are:
Playing and having fun triggers release endorphin, the hormone of well-being. Feeling good about working is essential to reduce stress.
Improves brain functions:
Carry out fun brain-challenging activities such as playing chess or solving puzzles, improving brain function, making it more agile, faster and focusing on the solution. Daily challenges on the job, as a game, makes it more attractive.
Stimulate the mind and encourage creativity:
Young children learn better when they are playing, and that principle also applies to adults. We learn a new task better when it’s fun and we’re relaxed. To pose problems as a game stimulates the imagination, facilitating the adaptation to new situations (role play) and to solve problems (games of riddles and Escape Room).
Improve interpersonal relationships and connection with others:
Sharing games fosters empathy, compassion, confidence and allow us to known better to others. The game can help us relax in stressful situations, it’s a icebreaker with strangers, make new friends and establish a new business relationship.
It keeps you energetic and with positive thinking:
In the words of George Bernard Shaw, «We do not stop playing because we get older, we get older because we stop playing.» Playing makes us more resilient in all aspects, both personal and professional. The challenges that we have to face in the game are a mirror of our day to day.
More and more companies are assuming that «play» in the company facilitates the learning and acquisition of skills and abilities that previously needed a long time to be integrated into people. This is why more and more events dedicated to playfulness, such as # play14 are so well received. In this event, professionals from different countries, we share practices and dynamics that strengthen, improve and teach the skills and abilities that are necessary to compete successfully in our day to day.