We have a little garden at the back of our new office that, couple of weeks back, some team members turned into a badminton (a racquet sport) court. So now, we play after work. Let me first give you a little bit of background before diving into my observations.
We have recently moved to our new office, from Scrybe’s original birthplace that was a tiny room that barely managed to fit us old lot. I love and miss the old place more than our new one but that’s a story for another time. We moved out to accommodate our much needed expansion.
So the new place has a bigger work area and a nice back garden. Hence a court came into existence. Now observations:
· Since everyone looks forward to a nice game at the end of the day, the time away from the routine has visibly increased the efficiency and the productivity levels. I guess we can only truly enjoy ourselves when we have wrapped up our work for the day, and enjoy the game we must, so work hard we shall ;). A wise comment I once read,
“If you pace yourself throughout an intense period of work by taking breaks and doing creative activities, not only will you complete the project with energy to spare, but the quality will be much higher.”
Another contribution to this fact would be a known fact that exercise can boost one’s immune system, thus, reducing the chances of loosing working hours to fatigue or illness.
· I noticed that some of us instead of going home after a good game, go back to our seats and work for an additional couple of hours. I think the break opens up our mind and things that we have been struggling with or are stuck on, magically lose their complexity. For me personally, in terms of definition and designing the application, it has done wonders… when I am not focused on a particular problem, interesting ideas spring up and that’s why I just want to get back to my seat and work on those ideas.
Dr. Edward Hallowell, a psychiatrist who identified “attention deficit trait”, in his interview to CNET said,
“If you don’t allow yourself to stop and think, you’re not getting the best of your brain. What your brain is best equipped to do is to think, to analyze, to dissect and create. And if you’re simply responding to bits of stimulation, you won’t ever go deep.”
One of my favorite quotes from an article I read on LifeDev is:
“I’ve found that the brain does not like to be told when to be creative. If you tell it to think, it won’t. But if you’re doing a small task that doesn’t require much thinking, you can bet your mind is working overtime, and it’s working on something completely different than what is in front of you.”
· People are happier. Elle Woods in Legally Blonde sagaciously said,
“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t.” 😉
On a more serious note, I think when your productivity is increasing and you have the space to be more creative, there is a significant boost in your tolerance level; support issues, bug tracking, and other stressful activities are managed more amiably.
· Last but not the least I think it’s the best way to help new people break in and to get to know each other without the day to day hustle bustle of a workplace.
Earlier, when we were a smaller team, it was an easier job to have balanced levels of work values, passion and objectives amongst all team members and with our recent expansion, considered whether we would be able to retain this. One of the factors that’s helping is having a great team of like minded individuals, who all are working hard and contributing towards the long term vision of the company. This great and simple idea of our evening sports is pleasurably proving itself as a contributor towards strengthening an already strong team and of course, in keeping us healthy and rosy cheeked.
If you’d like to know, I am not that great a player, but am learning!