Benefits of play at work

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The FINANCIAL — A first of its kind pilot experiment investigates the impact of play in the workplace. The experiment took place at the LEGO Group’s London hub, ahead of the company-wide LEGO PLAY DAY – an annual event where all LEGO employees take time away for one day to play together and have fun.

In collaboration with researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London, the LEGO Group measured the effect of different kinds of play on the physical, social, cognitive, creative and emotional skills of five participant volunteers from a variety of roles in the LEGO Group London office took part in the experiment.

Data was collected over three days; two of which were spent working as normal, with one day of play in between. Participants wore a biometrics device which measured their Cardiac Vagal Tone (CVT), a measure of exertion versus recovery, which determines mood and fatigue. In addition, the five employees self-reported their skills using a chatbot throughout the three days.

Results of the play experiment

Participants self-reported higher levels of competencies in all five skills areas when playing compared to typical work activities and exhibited lower average CVT scores at these times, indicating increased engagement and exhilaration.

Four of the five participants also registered higher average CVT scores on the work day following play activities, than the one before, which offers preliminary evidence that play has potential for residual benefits in workers, as they achieved higher levels of calm and wellbeing than before the play activity day.

The preliminary findings underline the LEGO Group’s view that play forms an essential part of life, from developing the five foundational skills in childhood, to harnessing these as an adult.  


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