by Jake Counselbaum / June 5, 2017.
Few business owners or managers are 100% satisfied with their current level of success. Even if things are going exceptionally well, it’s important to always be striving for more to ensure consistent forward motion. Getting too comfortable can actually be detrimental for business success!
For any business, pushing forward to find success can take on many different strategies or tactics. But for Killerspin, there’s one thing that we’ve found to help both ourselves and our customers – a table tennis table, a table tennis ball, and two rackets. But before drawing a parallel between table tennis and business success, let’s take a look at what might be working against your company: workplace stress.
Workplace Stress in the United States
Yearly, US businesses lose more than $300 billion due to workplace stress. According to the American Institute of Stress (AIS), employee stress in the workplace can lead to:
- A diminished level of worker productivity
- Higher rate of accidents
Whether you’re managing or part of a team, you’ve more than likely experienced the negative effects of workplace stress, or have at some point noticed its effect on your coworkers. Feeling stressed is a drain on not only yourself, but the people around you. Constant pressure, deadlines, and endless challenges only make things worse. If you’ve ever felt yourself mutter, “I hate my job,” it may seem like there’s no way out of this rut, short of finding a new job (and stress likely gets in the way of having the energy to do so).
So how do you get rid of workplace stress? Certainly, it’s impossible to eradicate completely. But helping employees to find a love for their jobs might be easier than you think.
Specifically, a person’s type of job is not the culprit behind workplace stress. It’s the “person-environment fit” as advocated by AIS. An employee’s productivity is primarily affected by his or her feelings within the work environment.
As a person concerned for your coworkers (or a person in a position to make changes), ask yourself:
- Do they have fun?
- Do they have the time to laugh?
- Do they have the opportunity to interact with others in a friendly (non-meeting) setting?
A work environment doesn’t need to feel like a pressure cooker to be considered competitive and successful. The tenets of success come from happy, more energetic employees whom customers find easier to trust.
Another myth about stress is that it’s caused by continuing challenges at the workplace. But according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health,
“Challenge energizes us psychologically and physically, and it motivates us to learn new skills and master our jobs. When a challenge is met, we feel relaxed and satisfied. Thus, challenge is an important ingredient for healthy and productive work.”
Creating a Highly-Motivating Work Environment for Employees
Fox News Health plays up the importance of “play at work,” citing Google and LinkedIn among a number of prestigious companies that encourage their employees to engage in fun activities: like beach volleyball and table tennis games.
Dr. Stuart Brown, founder of the scientific and non-profit organization National Institute for Play, reveals the following features relating to the positive effects of playing at the workplace:
Heightened motivation and productivity.
Employees feel revitalized after engaging in fun-filled activities. You’ll be surprised at how playing makes employees more ready to fulfill their tasks and to be able to meet more challenges. According to Dr. Brown, evidence shows that there’s a remarkable rise in a worker’s level of physical endurance and optimism after an enjoyable game at work.
Momentary freedom from work pressure and engagement in something fun also allows employees to become more creative. Ideas flow more freely, and your employees get to share and discuss each other’s thoughts for the good of the company. There’s less tension, too, as meaningful discussions and laughter mix.
The National Institute for Play cites scientific evidence regarding the effects of a playful environment on the human brain. Much of their findings are based on the research of renowned brain scientist Marian Diamond, who’s proven that an enriched/playful environment makes a person’s cerebral cortex healthier, larger in size, and more active. This focus on the cerebral cortex is important, because:
- The cerebral cortex is the biggest and most highly-developed part of our brain.
- It’s responsible for higher mental functions, such as information processing, as well as language production and understanding.
- It’s the control center of intelligence, memory, movement, and speech.
Natural Stress Relief
In the case of a physical activity like table tennis, it’s not just the brain that benefits from play: it’s the entire human body. The Mayo Clinic shares the following benefits associated with fun and laughter:
- Stimulates many vital organs including the lungs, muscles, and the heart. The brain releases endorphins, which make people feel good and more energized
- Natural stress relief
- Promotes better blood circulation and muscle relaxation, which reduces the physical tension caused by stress
In order to take advantage of these findings, follow these two important steps:
- Promote games in your company.
Simple, non-strenuous activities like table tennis can help to achieve the perfect balance with regards to play. table tennis encourages fun, laughter, relaxation, and bonding among employees. If you can’t offer a company gym, it’s easy to transform a conference room into a playroom when it’s not in use.
- Join your employees.
You also deserve an enjoyable break and better health. Your optimized energy, spirit of unity with the employees you team up with, and mental clarity after a good break will lead your business organization to greater heights.
UnplugNPlay with Killerspin
Worldwide, Killerspin’s UnplugNPlay initiative is moving more families closer together and making work environments more fun and healthier! UnplugNPlay promotes a healthy lifestyle through the use of table tennis games that offer people a healthful break from everyday stress. Killerspin’s premium table tennis equipment and accessories offer great design and durability to provide maximum enjoyment of the game for each table tennis player. Through the use of Killerspin products, even the most hard-working employee feels encouraged to take a revitalizing break to combat workplace stress.
Winning Over Workplace Stress
Workplace stress is costly for business, and dangerous to employee’s overall health. By providing opportunities to take breaks from work while engaging in physical activity, workplace stress can be the exception--not the norm. UnplugNPlay with Killerspin, and watch your business productivity skyrocket!