Thursday, November 8, 2012
The Other Question: Is It a Myth?
Work as play is not just for 'Gamers' anymore it seems. To fully understand this dynamic however you have to fully engage and understand the concept. Consider the question, Is achieving that goal Utopia or is it just a state of mind?
On that particular matter, there are certain questions that come to mind .
Can one be productive in a work/play construct?
Is work as play, even a serious idea?
By its very nature, does 'play' mean it [work] is not serious?
Of course, without question, some work would be better suited to play than others. However, after a disappointing attempt at research, I find myself unable to cite suitable examples.
There are actually a few 'school of thoughts ' however regarding this phenomenon.
It is a matter of transcendent learning some say. The ability to look outside of one self and for the things that matter more than self.
There is one which says, "work, works best when work becomes play." [see Impact's blog]...http://www.impactlearning.com/work-works-best-when-work-becomes-play/
Then there is the idea postulated on Woohoo inc., that 'happy' companies make more money. Is happy a pseudonym for 'play' or is trying to make the connection a stretch?
In a Dartmouth paper...Typically German (Excerpt from: Norbert Hedderich, "When Cultures Clash: Views from the Professions," Die Unterrichtspraxis (1999): 161-65); the view of how Germans see work vs. play is highlighted. In the paragraph: Attitudes to work, this: German interviewees commented on a different system of attitudes relating to work in Germany, which explain some of the items mentioned earlier. In their opinion, there is a clear separation between work and home in Germany; in the words of one American, "work is work and play is play.
Let's look at a few examples, where work and play seemed to have morphed into some 'plawo' space .
Relaxed atmosphere, laid-back style, happy-go-lucky posture, seem to rule the day. Yet, the result seem to be 'wildly successful' outcomes or in other words a successful business model.
"We are a gaming company, and we are about play," founder and CEO Mark Pincus explained to Fortune last November. "It should be loud and raucous."
It doesn't matter whether you've worked in a traditional corporate environment or shared startup workspace, Zynga's seven-story offices, nestled in San Francisco's South of Market neighborhood, are striking. They remain the stuff of idle chatter, the same way Google's (GOOG) amenities continually evoke envy and disbelief." JP Mangalindan WRITER, FORTUNE
More Awesome Places to Work, Play?
Can organized (traditional professions) work adapt this profile? Would you be comfortable with your surgeon seeing his 'work' as play? Hmmm...I doubt that very much.
Another thought is, Where does creativity and productivity flourish best?
And then I ask, "Is this such a big idea?" Isn't it just a simpler notion; just finding the lighter side of things? Enjoying what you do; Finding your life's passion(s).
I am now, not so sure. When the idea 'wafted' into my thought-stream, (though not original), it seemed rather intriguing but as I began to mine for information, I slowly started to unwind my initial excitement of being onto something. Part of the problem I believe is that while the idea may exist in 'idealist land' there is really no broad movement or structure around the work/play notion.
I found this quote:
"When work becomes play, and play becomes your work, your life unfolds."
So what that does that really mean? I suspect it it is more closely aligned to the "Find what you love and do it" concept, then maybe it will seem like play.
In the new world of MOOCers is this the next step; the new frontier for a 'rethink' of how we work? Will work be a large open space of ideas? This already exists in one form or the next in this new digital age, on various freelancers fora; connecting with others, sharing ideas in this word without barriers.
Are there required characteristics or specific work profiles which makes some 'work' more suitable for play than others? I am starting to think that this is not an idea with 'mass' application.
Could we be so lucky to have work that is indeed play?
What do you think?
Check out these other ideas on the matter...