August 14

Why We Need to Play at Work

Let’s Play!

When was the last time you played? Ok, you have an XBOX Live, or maybe you finally arranged that poker game at your place, and or you threw darts the other night like you were in college again. Too bad the next morning didn’t feel like the old days.

There are many ways to play, which are socially acceptable and mostly encouraged among children, unless you as a parent went nuts and stayed out late throwing darts last night. But how do we really play as an adult? We are expected to go to work, to attend meetings, to keep a grocery list. What could be more important than our to-do list? Well, science. Turns out that play, for children and for adults, is scientifically proven to make new neural connections. Children who participate in recess and who are more socially active at a young age achieve more academically later in life. Besides slides and the elusive tether ball win, recess provides opportunity for kids to interact in a loosely structured way. We know we’ll play this game of tag, but who is “it” first? And ooh, when I tag you, you have to pretend to be an animal. We start with a set of rules, and we morph our own imaginations into the game. We’ve created like children, but we’ve created new neural pathways…like scientists!

Improv games and exercises provide this same breadth of creativity and discovery. Improv invites two or more people to connect and find something together in a safe space. In the same way our kids above added to the traditional rules of tag, an improv game opens our minds to the possibility of “yes, and,” the principle that we say yes to an established rule, then add whatever new idea that rule sparked in our mind. Through active physical, verbal, and collaborative exercises, Vegas Improv Power gives you the opportunity to play again. At work, on the clock, actually checking something real off your to-do list for the day.

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