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I know what your thinking, and before you click out – stop, take a deep breath and continue reading. I’ve said it a hundred times before, and will probably say it a hundred more. But people who enjoy their jobs, stay at their jobs. We are living in a work obsessed culture, where every other social media post is followed by #grind #nodaysoff and #getthegreen but with the busy status comes things people don’t talk about: depression, anxiety, and burnout.
As a company, big or small, you can choose how you want the social presence of your business to appear to the world. Do you want to be known as a job people have on their LinkedIn, or as company pioneering your industry as a best place to work? It doesn’t matter if you have 100 employees – or you’re the only employee, you control the narrative.
On average, non-healthy employees cost more to a company, so encouraging health should be a top priority no matter how you look at it. And mental health is just as important, if not more important, than physical health. So what’s a company to do? Provide gyms? Mental health days? Tobacco-free insurance credits? Actually yes, to all, if you can. But something cheaper and even easier to do, is provide playtime.
Now I know that sounds like installing a jungle-gym and swing-set in your companies front yard, but that’s not quite what I mean, (unless you want to do that). Playtime means to allow employees to take a break, encourage a ‘breather’, and have fun while doing it.
Imagine at 10:00AM the whole office stands up and dances like no ones watching to the music in their heads for a full 60 seconds, with many still on phone calls. Or in the afternoon, a large group gathers near the entrance to go on a quick walk around the building. Or on Friday’s at lunch, the whole team books a conference room and enjoys a potluck together.
I know what you’re thinking. But I have a small business. From my kitchen table. The concepts still apply! Take breaks, and you mind and body will thank you! Enjoy a coffee break with your neighbor, spend 20 minutes having a tea party with your kids, or center yourself with some yoga.
These simple ideas to encourage playtime cost no money to you, but make employees proud to be part of your culture. By beating boredom before it can appear, you can starve off more serious conditions such as depression or stress or simply burnout. Take the time to encourage yourself or your employees to stand up, stretch, and make a friend, and they will reward you with more energy, better focus, and a stronger commitment to your company.
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