Pick up the Crayons: ‘Adult Recess’ Gaining Traction at Work

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As the topic of company culture and work-life balance begins to take the lead as the most pertinent workplace necessity, employers are steadily beginning to tune into the newest studies, tactics, and employee input regarding such trends.

While items such as casual dress, bring-your-dog-to-work day, and free food are some of the most common suggestions, the idea of “adult recess” is taking hold.

Adult recess, or playtime for employees, aligns with the idea that many professionals are overworked, stressed, tired, and, therefore, unproductive. By allowing brief periods of brainless activity – or at least promoting the idea outside of work – employers can theoretically help employees focus by refreshing their brains.

Many activist groups and career theorists are backing the seemingly strange notion that “play” promotes ingenuity and productivity. Activities in which employees can relax and refocus their energies, including playing games on a mobile phone, using coloring books, having a mini dance party, singing in the shower, and hosting game nights, can actually spur creativity when the employee gets back to work, according to Fast Company.

Brief periods of low-stress activity may help in refocusing “creative juices.” Whether taking a break at work or trying to calm a frazzled brain post-work, the following brain-calmers can serve as an 'Adult Recess' to recharge employees:

  • Exercise: As any fitness trainer would attest, exercise can reduces stress and releases endorphins that help an individual feel more positive. Because this activity requires physical energy as opposed to large amounts of mental energy, this can serve as the perfect activity to refocus one’s attention.
  • Go for a Walk: Simply being outside is known to lift one’s mood and help one to relax mentally. Take a break from the computer screen and go for a walk around the block. Bonus comfort points are awarded if a visit to your family pet or taking them for a walk after work can be added to the mix.
  • Listen to Music: Because music is said to reduce stress, listening to tunes can re-energize the mind and have a calming effect on stressed employees.
  • Read a Book: Pick up a book that is unrelated to business; fiction, fantasy, or memoir can recharge the brain as it allows for a step away from the workplace.

While Adult recess may sound silly, various advocates have suggested positive outcomes in allowing the brain to recharge.

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