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Work hard, play harder – Why playtime can give your meetings a productivity boost!

From video games in the office to VR headsets at creative conferences, playtime isn’t just for kids, it could also be the ultimate ice breaker at your next meeting or training events.

In addition to being joyful and energising, the act of play is deeply involved with human development and intelligence. With the new year ahead, here are five reasons why playtime can give your next event a productivity boost!

It encourages curiosity

If you’ve planned an off-site meeting or training session, you want to get the most out of your attendees. Play is the key ingredient in transforming passive attendees into active participants, but how can you make play contextually appropriate and focused in your meetings or training?

Introduce kinetic objects into the room – stress balls, Slinkies, fidget spinners – for delegates to fiddle with. As well as being fantastic stress relievers, play boosts creativity and will create an environment that enables delegates to explore ideas and insights in an informal manner. Plus, it’ll keep their hands busy and minds active, decreasing the likelihood of your delegates reaching to play with their phone instead.

It brings people together

There are four main types of team building: communication activities, problem-solving or decision-making activities, adaptability activities, and trust building activities. Team-building that bring in elements of play provides a shared experience and a fun goal that will enable your delegates to build closer working relationships.

A great example of this is our on-site escape room Locked In A Room which splits your team into smaller groups to solve puzzles and find clues before the time runs out. Activities such as escape rooms will help your delegates reap long-term benefits such as improved collaboration. You’d be surprised at how quickly play in a pressurised environment can lead to comradery.

It enhances cognitive function

The brain is one of our most precious tools and it thrives when presented with a challenge. Play ignites your brain’s control centre, which plays a crucial role in planning and problem-solving. Games that directly engage cognitive functions such as word games promote healthy brain function.

To get their neurons firing, find ways to build cognitive play into your next meeting or training, such as quick crossword or Sudoku puzzles at the start of a session. This will lead to better problem-solving skills and greater retention of information.

It encourages friendly competition

Everybody loves a little healthy competition. Not only is it great for morale, but in a professional environment made up of employees at many levels, play is the perfect way to break down power structures and silos. Research has proven that hierarchy can be overridden through the process of play, which is often the barrier to sharing ideas.

How does it work? Well, play gives everyone on the team a voice, leading to greater collaboration and sparking new ideas. As we mentioned, play also ignites the brain, silencing your delegate’s inner critic which can suppress innovation. If your delegates are locked in a small room together with only 60 minutes to figure out their escape, it doesn’t matter if you’re the intern or the CEO, it’s all hands on deck!

It gives people a break

Breaks are important. Whether it’s giving your delegates time to take a brisk stroll by the dock or a serving a brain-boosting lunch in our dedicated restaurant, breaks are a non-negotiable part of any meeting or training event. Failure to provide breaks has a direct correlation with decreased focus and performance.

Providing unstructured breaks gives your delegates time to process thoughts and concepts whilst their attention is diverted by something more entertaining – all leading to a much-needed productivity boost.

Let us help you have a happy new year of events at CentrEd. Contact the team on +44 (0)20 7069 4723 or email us at centred@excel.london to discuss your needs.