Work and play don’t have to be separate. Here’s why.

Work and play don’t have to be separate. Here’s why.

“Work? It’s just serious play.” This quote conjures up another memorable, more famous, quote for me, apropos this close to Halloween, from the film The Shining, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” It’s no coincidence then that iconic Oscar-winning graphic designer Saul Bass graced us with the serious play quote AND designed the poster for The Shining.

Of course, the idea that work can be fun is not new. You’ll likely hear the old Twain adage “find something you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” at some point this week. Most folks might roll their eyes and let you know that it’s easier said than done. But instead of standing on the outside looking in on the Order of Those That Play For Work (not a real thing), how about standing in the middle of it…in the job you have right now?

There are so many tools that lay claim to making work more exciting. Ice-breaker games for work, fun staff meeting games, team building activities for work, office games, and on and on. And while connecting with your team is an essential part of making your working life more enjoyable, it often comes at the expense of productivity. Well, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to. That enjoyment and productivity can go hand in hand.

GoodGames realizes this dream unlike any other tool you’ve experienced. Our game-like activities create a structured environment where brainstorming, engagement, solution-finding; they don’t have to be tedious experiences. They can be productive, efficient, and, yes, fun! We’ve gamified the communication process. And not with the pins and badges you may have seen in gamified-adjacent systems. We bring true gamification. We’ve injected the communication process with competition, points, ticking clocks, all the things we humans instinctively use to motivate ourselves. But more importantly, somebody winning doesn’t mean somebody loses. Every one of our games is collaborative and cooperative.

But the best part is that these elements introduce a real measure of fun while generating ideas, answers, and feedback. Not only that, they make the process quicker so you can get from idea to action in a fraction of the time. Internally we’ve cut creative meetings in half while actually increasing productivity, and our clients report similar results.

An easy example is our game RANT! Here’s an outline of how gameplay might unfold:

  1. First round, initial feedback or idea dump. This round is timed, which might sound a little stressful but there’s something about the human brain that hyper-focuses once we know we have a limited amount of time to do something. Answer a question, any question, anonymously.
    • “How do we…?”
    • “Where are your biggest concerns about…?”
    • “What can we do to make….better?”
    • “What’s infuriating about…?”
  2. In round two, we take the initial ideation or feedback dump and let the team expand on them. They click on a piece of feedback or an idea and edit it to offer a solution, words of support, an expansion on the idea itself, really anything that moves the conversation forward. Again, all anonymously. 
  3. Then you vote on the modifications, which allows for prioritization and better visibility to leadership on all the ideas shared.

In the end you take a lot of communication and funnel it into a list of prioritized action items, typically in 20 minutes or less. How’s that for efficiency? But best of all, you walk away from the experience with a sense of accomplishment and, believe it or not, joy. 

So next time you hear that work can be fun, that THIS work can be fun, and someone starts to roll their eyes and mutter “I wish,” send them to and start to experience the evolution of the modern workforce.