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Why is the future of work play?

We now expect our work-life needs to be met through flexi-working, childcare and health cover. But, as our expectations of work-life balance increase and diversify, so do demands for productivity. As a result, the concept of play is now driving a huge cultural shift that we all need to embrace and engage with. The future of work is play.

It is common knowledge that children learn and develop through play and yet as adults in the workplace, play for plays sake is too often neglected. Many studies have shown that play can bring about extraordinary results for creative thinking, efficient working, the building of better connections and positive human relationships. Many businesses claim to be ‘creative’ but they continue to operate with restricted process and conditioned thinking – true freedom of thought, expression and behaviour never getting a chance to materialise. Integrating play into the working week is the key to the most effective productivity.

We are seeing a number of online brands and tech innovators already encouraging play in creative and stimulating physical environments and the correlation between ideas and work culture is evident. Think Dropbox’s Ping-Pong wall, Skype’s grassy gaming area and Facebook’s woodworking shops and games arcade. In her much viewed 2010 TED talk, Jane Mcgonigal outlines four key human attributes of people immersed in game playing being those of optimism, trust, collaboration and more efficient problem solving.

Many of our best-loved brands – Cadbury, Coca-Cola and Campbell’s Soup (to name a few) – have ensured a role in our lives, by not just making us feel like a kid again but, by putting joy, happiness and a playful spirit at the heart of their brand strategy and communication. And now, brands and businesses need to focus internally and apply the same thinking to their work culture, environment and ethos.

A Palo Alto start-up, Knack’s breakthrough technology uncovers an individual’s talents, traits and skills to reveal the strengths that make them stand out – and all from the way they play games. From psychometrics to game playing, such game-based assessments could transform people analytics and hiring. Initiatives like Knack could soon become a reality – a new but tangible idea showing how play is becoming an increasingly integral part of our future work culture.

In the spirit of play, the Pearlfisher London studio has curated an interactive exhibition called JUMP IN! The Pearlfisher team and numerous visitors are able to invigorate their day with a play in a pool of 81,000 balls for a highly immersive experience promoting a sense of togetherness and joy.

In considering the future of work, it is play that is here to stay.

Pearlfisher London invites you to JUMP IN! and support charity Right To Play. The JUMP IN! art installation at Pearlfisher’s West London gallery invites visitors to play in a pool of 81,000 white balls – a highly immersive, creative experience that promotes a sense of togetherness and creative joy. For every guest that comes to play, Pearlfisher will donate £1 to Right To Play.

Please note that due to an unprecedented demand JUMP IN! is now completely booked up. We are very sorry for any disappointment caused. Please click through here to sign up for any further information about where JUMP IN goes next.

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