Put Some Play in Your Day

Put Some Play in Your Day

I was contacted recently by the people behind the National Lottery and asked to conduct some research as part of their “Put Some Play in Your Day” Scratchcard campaign.

I was tasked with completing a workplace study into the effects of play breaks on workers’ productivity.

Now, I’ve long been a believer that people should take regular breaks throughout the day to stay in tip top mental shape.

The flip side, of course, is that the people I deal with who suffer from acute stress tend not to take any breaks at all and work extra long hours.

I approached Moneysupermarket.com to see if I could conduct the study with their staff as I knew, as a company, they have a great approach and attitude to looking after their people.

They agreed and I spent a fantastic two days at their offices in Ewloe last week.

The study centred around taking a group of volunteers away from their desks for 10 minutes each morning and afternoon and engaging them in “play” activities.

We took in giant games like Jenga and Connect 4 as well as games from their childhood like Kerplunk and Pop Up Pirates.

The atmosphere and energy in the room was fantastic, full of laughter, fun and a little competitiveness too!

Previous studies suggest that, on average, our energy slumps at 10.18am and 2.27pm daily; so we took the breaks to combat those times.


Put Some Play in Your Day - Mark Darlington


Then for the science bit.

We measured productivity before and after each break and compared it to that of a “control” group who didn’t take breaks.

The results were outstanding.

Results found that after taking play-breaks workers reported a 39% boost in performance, while the control group actually reported a 7% dip in performance levels.

Common sense would tell us that those not taking a break would continue to decrease their performance levels as the day went on.

So how can we emulate this success in our daily home and work life?

The message is as simple as it is to apply.

If you’re stressed or feeling less than productive;

• Take regular short breaks

• Do something fun that makes you smile to energise you

• Keep hydrated, drink lots of water

• Set a definite time to finish work and stick to it, you’ll be amazed at how much more you get done when you set a time limit.


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