Puzzles are a great solo or family activity at home but they can also serve a purpose in the workplace. Even the most productive and creative people need a break from time to time.
We’ve heard from a number of puzzlers who have packed one of our mini puzzle tins to have on the ready on their work desk. Whenever they need to reset from their intensive flatscreen digital computer work, they spend a few minutes solving one of our tactile analog puzzles. They can boost their mood and reset their mental capacity by manipulating 3D physical objects, pattern-matching pieces to fit neighbouring clumps, and splitting attention between the puzzle parts and the whole. These healthy breaks and small “wins” are critical to fueling motivation and positive outcomes. You might also consider the benefits of taking regular mouse-and-keyboard breaks to prevent the onset of carpal tunnel…
But it’s not all about personal productivity - there are also plenty of social benefits for your team.
Puzzles as a team-building practice can help coworkers connect (which is a puzzle in itself). Puzzles are natural conversation-starters and having one set up in a common area can be a good way to break the ice and catalyze the exchange of ideas between different departments and people who don’t normally work together. The non-structured, drop-in nature is also very appealing to people who might normally shy away from participating in something that requires more of a commitment. This is perhaps most beneficial to teams with a high number of introverts. Introverts who would normally stick to their own sequestered space, are often willing to visit the break room and converse with a colleague over a puzzle.
These benefits arise whether solving small puzzles as a group in a single session, or with larger puzzles solved sequentially over several days. Wildly different puzzle-solving methods can also be observed among a group, highlighting that there may be more than one way to tackle a gnarly work task. Practicing creative problem-solving, patience, and team celebrations can pave the path to other solutions and team wins beyond the break room.
Here's a great example of puzzles in the lunch room within the medical research work environment.
(Steiner JF. The Jigsaw Puzzle in the Lunchroom. Perm J. 2016;20(2):96-97. doi:10.7812/TPP/15-210)
Do you have a Puzzle Club at work? Would you like to start one?
In celebration of International Puzzle Day on January 29, we are running a Puzzle Club draw.
- Round up your crew of coworkers and fill out our StumpCraft Puzzle Club form here.
- If you fill out the form by January 31, 2023 we will enter your Puzzle Club into a draw for a StumpCraft puzzle of your choice, valued at $150 or less.
- No matter when you sign up, each member of your Club will also receive a personal coupon code for 10% off their next purchase.
Your Club can receive bonus entries in the draw by submitting photos of a StumpCraft puzzle in progress or completed by your Club members.
We look forward to seeing your photos!