Walking, talking, toys and marble runs

How playtime in the workplace drives engagement

Let's walk and talk. Why? I've been sitting all day, and I'd rather walk than grab (yet) another coffee, the fresh air is good for us, new environments are stimulating and when we're walking, I'm not only 100% present and fully engaged, but I'm on my toes and my brain is switched on. Besides, who takes notes anymore?
What else am I doing? I'm playing with toys. Yes, toys. Toys in the office and toys in meetings — they're not just for kids anymore. Think about all the people who fidget in meetings or at work. If you give them something tactile to play with, you won't feed bad habits, but you'll stimulate individuals to think more creatively without distracting them from the tasks at hand. Ever heard of the phrase "think with your hands?" The next time you're at a conference and get a stress ball, be proud and play with it (throughout the meeting). And when people give you awkward stares, tell them, "Hey, Yvette said toys are in. You should try it."

I'm also playing brain games like they're going out of fashion.  I zip through them each morning, and they switch on my brain in a matter of minutes. Try it.

Lastly, I'm having fun and mingling with people outside the hotel industry. On a random night two years ago friends gathered at my place over wine and cheese to make a marble run. This past Saturday we made a collapsible playhouse out of cardboard for their kids.  And there have been numerous other crafting projects in between.

When we're combining people from different fields, building, creating, crafting and rapid prototyping, innovation is at it's best! Try it. Get out of your comfort zone and have a marble run party — if you dare.

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Craft House Founder and Director, Yvette Jong, contributes regularly to her HOTELS Magazine Blog titled, "The Good, the Bad and the Funky." Topics of discussion include all aspects of hospitality development, operations, branding, marketing, human resources, sustainability and much more.