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Give me a Break!

By Akeem Brown, National Client Relationship Coordinator, Wellness Works Canada

Everyone recharges differently. For some, believe it or not, work is an activity that recharges. Whether you are at work, home or at home working, started thinking about strategic recharging. What is strategic recharging? It is my way of thinking about recreation in our built environment. Provide a canvas and an artist will fill it with art, provide space and a person will fill it with recreation.


Your space is scarce you say? I thought you’d say that. So is everyone else’s. When we think about the built environment, having lounge areas or spaces where people can hang out is not a new idea. Break rooms and lunchrooms have been around since the onset of the industrial revolution. What’s changed is our understanding of what it means to recreate.


What is recreation?

Recreation – activity done for enjoyment when one is not working.


This is the official definition, but it needs some clarification. One could argue that the modern worker no longer has a clear start and stop time. Smart phones, email and busy schedules can make it harder to carve out a specific time where you “are not working.”

Instead of thinking of the built environment as a space that helps us segregate different areas of our life like work and recreation activities, a new approach would be to think of these environments as interchangeable. Instead of a room for a work and a room for play, you have rooms where you live. Peppering recreation into our environments can be useful to those with space limitations for a host of reasons.


Recreate Work

It turns out that people are happier when they are enjoying themselves more frequently. Engineering recreation into the workday can tap into this enjoyment and the results are linear. Increase in enjoyment means increase in productivity which can mean an increase in profits.


Intermittent recreation can be the key that unlocks creativity. The change of pace during the day from sitting behind the computer can jumpstart out of the box ideas and spur innovation.


Recreation is commonly known as a stress relief in most peoples lives. A trip to the lake or a few shots on a basketball hoop can be a crucial stress valve release that can prevent any fallout associated with stress. Stress reduction can be a massive benefit to recreation.


Summary

Our lives are becoming one fluid exchange of work and recreation. People have more mobility, information and needs than ever before. Reimagining your environment to match our current lifestyle can ensure people can maximize their days.

Best Practices

  • Find out the hobbies of people

  • Communicate different recreation ideas with people

  • Implement free rooms for people to populate with what they need to realize enjoyment

  • Allow for work rooms to transform for recreation activities throughout the day


About the Author

Akeem is a proud Canadian who grew up understanding the paradox of health: the harder you work on your health, the harder you can work on everything else.

He played basketball and football growing up and remain active to this day. He has a close group of friends while always looking to make new connections.

As he grew he understood how powerful sports and recreation was in his life so he decided to study it at the University of Alberta. He is now months away from receiving his bachelors. He is also a certified Workplace Health and Performance Ambassador (WHPA).


His interests include real estate, film making and art. He believes that nobody has a monopoly on good ideas and enjoys having conversations that have the potential to challenge his beliefs.

Scotia Place, 10060 Jasper Ave 
Suite 2020 Tower 1
Edmonton, AB T5J 3R8

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