Recombobulation Area at the Milwaukee Airport

I travel frequently for speaking engagements, and it is always a new adventure. How do you feel after going through security and putting yourself back together?

Recomboulation area

In Milwaukee, they call it a ‘recombobulation area’ – it fits and it is fun.

Employees decided to have a little fun with the situation. The sign is hanging at Concourse C security checkpoint. The experience helps passengers recover from a stressful experience and serves the airlines purpose.

Upon seeing the sign most passengers get it. Some take a few steps then smile. Others look up and say, “Huh?” There’s lots of ways to introduce fun in the workplace.

The Most Important Work We Do Is Play

We are so conditioned to be serious and stifle any sign of fun and humor on the job. We have to unlearn the taboos about work and play.

Dr. Brown of the Play Institute says that ‘the most important work we do is play.’ There is so little of it in corporate America, and that has to change! There is very real ROI involved with instituting play policy at work.

Play Boosts the Bottom Line

The proof is in the profit, employee productivity boosts, and widespread effects across the entire organization. Dr. Brown wants you to ask the question – who says play and work do not work? To be more productive at work, people should play. At least, that is what the evidence suggests.

When you play it generates energy in people, and it is this energy that is used to work. Play engages employees, and they need to be engaged more often. A Gallup poll indicated that most employees are horrendously disengaged.

You need to recharge your organization through structured, methodical play. Google’s success is directly related to fun. The physical work space offers a culture of play – there are sharing cubes, pianos and slides that make up the offices. Each work environment is distinct, incorporating some local flair.

This is done to keep employees happy, and to create an innovative and creative environment that people can work in. Zappos takes play very seriously. After screening their job applicants, they offer new hires $4000.00 to leave. The choice becomes, embrace our culture of play and work for us, or take the money and run. It is an effective tactic.

Finding Your Way to Play

Noel Dyck, professor of Social Anthropology at Simon Fraser, advocates that people wrongly believe that only childhood is meant to be playful. But a balance needs to be struck between the mechanics and structure of the game – so that it can be played for fun and profit.

The opportunity for us is to apply the “Recombobulation” principle in our own way.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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