By Linda Passante, CEO, The Halo Group
In addition to a CEO’s everyday tasks of leading, planning and organizing comes a responsibility that is often overlooked: motivating. Within organizational development, motivation and productivity go hand in hand. Motivation sparks the desire to produce while the obligation to produce creates a need for motivation.
Productivity in the workplace is often a challenge as employees constantly encounter distractions and deterrents from various sources. Feeling appreciated, having fun and taking regular breaks are all crucial elements that impact the level of productivity (and overall happiness) within the office. A recent report by Globoforce found that 39% of employees feel underappreciated at work, with 77% reporting that they would work harder if they felt better recognized.
The summer months prove to be an additional challenge to workplace productivity. Productivity throughout the long summer months drastically drops 20% due to an increase in daydreaming and socializing and a decrease in actually staying in the office.
At The Halo Group, a branding and marketing communications agency located in the heart of Manhattan, we understand the importance of motiving employees. We also understand the importance of staying on top of the latest social, cultural and industry trends. That’s why we took some creative liberty to fuse them together.
With virtual reality as the breakout star in the world of tech, gaming, marketing and beyond, The Halo Group wanted to use this budding technology to show employees that they are appreciated while also increasing productivity during the summertime. To make this idea come to life, The Halo Group offered its employees a virtual summer vacation through the magic of virtual reality. Using Google Cardboard, a virtual reality app called Relaxation VR, beach balls, towels and fans, we created an in-office beach experience where each employee was able to put on the Google Cardboard and ‘escape’ to their ultimate beach getaway.
This virtual escape proved that a little bit of play and creativity goes a long way. Employees seemed happier, more relaxed and ready to get back to work. As an added bonus, employees were educated on the possibilities that virtual reality brings to the advertising and marketing industry. This virtual vacation gave them a preview of the technology we are guaranteed to use within the next few years.
While this specific project took place during the summer, motivation through play should be incorporated into the workplace throughout the year. Spending just 15-20 minutes playing during the workday can inspire innovation, enhance productivity and reduce anxiety. Recent studies show that employees who are motivated through play not only work harder, but maintain greater loyalties towards their companies for longer periods of time.
The challenge of inspiring employees is ubiquitous, but it is our responsibility to understand individuals’ needs in order to provide the appropriate motivation. Workers who feel appreciated and are motivated at work will ultimately be excited about their jobs, carry out their responsibilities to the best of their ability and make contributions to their place of work.