Don’t Forget to Play

As everyone gets fully back to work after the Christmas / New Year holiday season, there was something that you just did with friends and family that will have a huge positive impact on your work (and life) if you apply it going forward.

While it might sound trite, make sure you spend social time with the people you work with.  Or – in English – “play.”

It’s 2009 and we can (and should) be optimistic about the future, but we are still in the midst of an economic down cycle.  I have no idea when the cycle turns positive, but the notion of enjoying social time together with the people you work with applies in both good times and bad.

Most of the people I’ve talked to this morning seems rested, positive, and ready to get going again.  Some of this is a natural dynamic that seems to happen when the clock in Times Square counts down to 0 and the calendar clicks over to a new year.  Some it is because of all the sugar we just ate.  Some of this is because many of us got to spend a lot of time with friends and family that we don’t see as often as we’d like (or – additionally – that we are now finished spending this time with family for a while.)

It’s easy to lose sight of the fact that we spend at least 33% of our lives at work (and often > 50% of our waking time working).  Don’t forget to hang out and have fun with the people you work with.  Lunch anyone?

  • Totally agree. I actually rediscovered lego over the break. Initially playing with my kids. Eventually by myself…

  • I'm a deep believer in having fun with my coworkers. Good for me, good for them, but more importantly, you get to know them as people away from a work setting. Having a personal relationship means that when the time comes that one of you is an asshole (for whatever reason, could just be a bad day), you're able to take it with a grain of salt and work around it instead of immediately reacting, being defensive, and heading into that painful downward spiral.

  • Brad – I find the social time you mention is all the more important in young company environments when you are often pulling long hours and seeing co-workers more than anyone else in your life. In my time at LeftHand, I was fortunate to have worked with people I enjoyed and respected. In the early days we did work crazy long hours to hit those all important milestones. We also made time for team lunches and Fine Wine Fridays, and lifelong friendships were formed. I'd work with those guys pretty much anytime, anywhere.

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