Throwback Thursdays: Play at UHN


You may have noticed us playing hopscotch outside TGH last Thursday and outside TWH this week. This is part of our Throwback Thursdays PLAY initiative at UHN which involves going back in time every Thursday at noon to play like we did at recess when we were kids.

So why are we promoting play at work? Researchers have studied the many benefits of fun and play at work, which include the following:

  • Play and fun at work increases productivity and improves coworker relationships and camaraderie (Eller, 2015)
  • Fun at work affects job performance and is positively related to organizational citizenship behavior (going above and beyond one’s job duties) (Fluegge, 2009)
  • Those who have fun at work are more likely to be engaged and exhibit greater creativity (Fleugge, 2009)
  • Fun at work lowers employee turnover and improves employee retention (Tews et al, 2014; Becker, 2014)
  • Lighthearted organizations breed loyal employees and happier customers (Gostick, 2008)
  • Fun at work increases job satisfaction (Peluchette, 2006)
  • Fun at work can reduce the emotional exhaustion that causes burnout among healthcare workers (Braithwaite, 2008)

But don’t take our word for it. Check out these videos from the National Institute for Play and IDEO and learn why Play is so valuable.

Stuart Brown (National Institute for Play) – Play is more than just fun TED Talk (video)

IDEO’s Tim Brown on why Serious Play helps innovation: (video)

Click here for more information about Play at UHN including the Throwback Thursdays schedule.


Becker, Frederick W. (2014). The impact of fun in the workplace on experienced fun, work engagement,      constituent attachment, and turnover among entry-level service employees. Dissertation Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol.74(8-A(E)),2014.

Braithwaite, M. (2008) Nurse Burnout and Stress in the NICU. Advances in Neonatal Care. Volume 8(6), p. 343-347

Davidhizar R;  Bowen M.  Camaraderie: the key to making work fun.  Todays Or-Nurse.  14(8):46-7, 1992 Aug.

Eller, T. G. (2015). The effects of humor and fun on employee morale and well-being. Dissertation  Abstracts International Section A: Humanities and Social Sciences. Vol.75(10-A(E)).

Fluegge, Erin Rae. (2009) Who put the fun in functional? Fun at work and its effects on job performance. Dissertation Abstracts International and Section A: Humanities Social Sciences. Vol.69(7-A),2009, pp. 2781.

Gostick, Adrian; Christopher, Scott. (2008). The levity effect: Why it pays to lighten up. Hoboken, NJ, US: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Karl, Katherine; Peluchette, Joy. (2006). How does workplace fun impact employee perceptions of customer service quality? Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies. Vol.13(2), Win 2006, pp. 2-13.

Peluchette, J., & Karl, K. (2005). Attitudes toward incorporating fun into the health care workplace. Health Care Manager, 24(3), 268-275

Tews, M.J., Michel, J.W., Allen, D.G. (2014). Fun and friends: The impact of workplace fun and constituent attachment on turnover in a hospitality context. Human Relations. Vol.67(8), Aug 2014, pp. 923-946.


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