• Dawn Ali

Work n' Play - Be Mindful of Play and Mindful at Work

Updated: Aug 21, 2019

Do you remember when you enjoyed playing outside for hours on end? So focused on enjoying the present surroundings, laughing and running around with your friends that you’d lose track of time.

I am mindful of playing and living in the present, and what a difference it makes! My daughter Karina and I spend time playing with her dolls, setting up board games, going to movies, and swinging at the park.

We giggle and frolic freely without a care in the world. I am reminded of how quickly time is passing and that she is growing up.

But, I never want her to lose her desire to play. And, I love rediscovering just how good play feels and sounds!

What if your workplace encouraged employees to play? It might sound hokey, but it is actually a growing shift in how organizations view the role of play.

Many companies have included opportunities for employees to participate in physical activities such as volleyball, soccer, golf, baseball, or softball, and a variety of video games to ensure that employees have access to different ways to relax or reinvigorate from hard work.

If you think playing at work is a distraction and waste of time and resources, read on about some of the benefits that mindfulness has.

Mindfulness is a cure for disengagement.

You may have heard someone say at work that there is no time to play because there is just too much work to complete. That is far from the truth.

Playing at work can help an employee to refocus, gain productivity, and deliver better results. Play is a state of joy! Being mindful of play throughout one’s workday is just as important as being mindful at work.

So, why do you suppose employees miss work for illness or apathy, quit a job, or don’t perform as well? Could it be that the simple answer is to be mindful of the need to play?

How many people skip work just to play and don’t feel guilty about it?

Sometimes employees decide they need a day to just play a game of tennis or golf, walk the nature trail, go to the zoo, or any number of other relaxing and fun activities.

However, distracted and disengaged employees are costing American businesses upward of 600 billion dollars annually, and it means that performance, productivity and profits lack control.

Let’s see how the cost might break down at 34% of their annual salary. It’s $3,400 for every $10,000. For example, the loss on a $30,000 salary is $10,200; $60,000 is $20,400, and $90,000 is $30,600.

Distractions and disengagement are also leading to vicious cycles of employee dissatisfaction. But, the ROI on training the mind to be mindful, present, focused and aware yields positive results on day one and never stops!

According to Science Daily, “Mindfulness has been shown to improve three qualities of attention -- stability, control and efficiency. The human mind is estimated to wander roughly half of our waking hours, but mindfulness can stabilize attention in the present. Individuals who completed Mindfulness Training were shown to remain vigilant longer on both visual and listening tasks.”

Everyone copes with stress and anxiety in their own way, but every employee can also benefit from practicing mindfulness at play and at work.

Mindfulness is a way to reset the mind, shift wandering thoughts and focus with intention. Outward Self can help your employees leverage mindfulness at work so that they become present, focused and aware.

The information they receive, and the activities and recommendations they work on will help them to cope and achieve greater results in the workspace.

Higher productivity and less stress in the workplace will enable employees to get better rest, improve attendance, cooperate with team members, maintain engagement, think better, listen intently, do more, and enjoy what they do.

Because they will have more energy, motivation, and time to be mindful of play and mindful at work.

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