Make time to play at work!

November 15, 2023 at 8:00 AM |
Posted by: Katie Miller
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Emerging from the lock-down of the pandemic, the chronic distance-keeping made us all appreciate proximity to others. At Alia we have always prioritized connection, but only after the pandemic did we intentionally commit to investing our in-person time toward play. With 27 staff in seven different states, we gather as a full staff only three or four times a year and so each hour together is precious. Yet we all agree, playing together returns dividends!

Physical play as a team has added benefits. The emotional bonding that happens during play seems to last longer; maybe the mind-body connection absorbs it more deeply. Physical play also naturally encourages us to take risks with our bodies. The vulnerability this requires extends to others and creates closeness.

For our last winter all-staff retreat, downhill sledding was one of the optional excursions. There was a childlike atmosphere as the group took turns swooshing down the hill, and not just because the only others around sledding were children!  

Moving your bodies in playful activity together is a highly effective team-building exercise – literally! The experience lives on, creating a bank of positive memories and emotions for when we get back to work and the inevitable miles and screens come between us. Play reminds us we’re all human, and in our shared humanity we can do our best work.

Team Alia's sledding excusion.