Do you ever blend work with something fun or more leisurely? Do you ever do leisurely things during work, like take a break? It’s actually pretty important to blend work and leisure. Read on to learn what this type of blending is and why it matters.
Ways to Blend Work and Leisure
Work and leisure are fundamental to our experience of life. Tasks that are completed in order to support your life are work. In today’s world, this often means completing tasks in exchange for money (like a job). Leisure, on the other hand, is more ambiguous to define. Generally speaking, it’s defined by activities that are completed when you’ve fulfilled your responsibilities (work, family, etc.). It’s ‘free time’.
Traditionally, work and leisure have been considered separate from each other. At work, you work. After work, you can do leisure activities. However, today, work and leisure are not fully separate and, often, a blending of the two is ideal. Work-leisure blending is the extent to which work and leisure overlap. There are a lot of ways to blend work and leisure, which we breakdown below.
Organizational play is an activity that is done specifically for fun and involves being highly absorbed in the activity. Employees participate in organizational play when they play video games at work, play on company softball teams, and create skits during a team brainstorming session. Importantly, organizational play can lead to positive outcomes at work. For example, it can increase employee commitment, improve creativity, and increase employee motivation.
Another type of work-leisure blending is workplace fun. Workplace fun also includes activities that are done specifically for amusement or fun at work. Employees participate in workplace fun when they attend office parties or happy hours or travel to fun in-person meetings. Employees can also play music while doing work or decorate their desk for a holiday. Interestingly, workplace fun improves employee engagement and increases performance. It also promotes creativity, and enhances employees’ sense of social support.
Gamification is the infusing of game principles into work tasks. Employees can gamify their own work or leaders can build it in the workplace. Employees participate in gamification when they earn badges based on accomplishments or participate in sales competitions. As a result, employees perform better and enjoy their work tasks more.
Industrial Recreation and Exercise
Industrial recreation and exercise is where a typical wellness program falls. It includes activities that seek to make employees healthier. Employees participate in this when they take work-provided fitness classes or take advantage of gym memberships. Notably, this type of blending results in improved employee satisfaction and physical health. Employees also use sick leave less frequently.
Finally, work breaks are an obvious blended activity. Employees can take a variety of breaks, like lunch breaks or micro-breaks. Plus, breaks cause lots of good outcomes. Breaks lower exhaustion, increase performance, and improve employee well-being.
What Does It Mean?
So, why does work-leisure blending matter? All of these activities impact performance and wellness! Thus, organizations need to take action. How can your company allow for more blending? Consider providing people with flexibility in their schedules. Also, consider providing opportunities for employees to do any of these five types of activities.
What about for yourself? What if you aren’t a leader and want to benefit? Take a moment and think about what you could implement on your own. Can you start building in more breaks? Can you organize a team happy hour? There are a lot of easy things you can do to improve your own wellness through some fun at work!