The Accelerator Lab Jordan unlocks the power of "Play" 🔓

By: Abdullah Bostaji, Communications Assistant, UNDP Jordan Accelerator Lab

March 6, 2023

Consider this: you're trying to add the final slides to an important presentation but need help to finish it. Secretly, you want a change of scenery. You either want to pull up a game on your laptop or play Words with friends on your phone. You can't because you're at work. Your team or manager might not appreciate that you wasting you time at work playing. However, he Accelerator Lab has coincidentally tested play at UNDP Jordan.

As the Accelerator Lab opened the new Rooftop we want to celebrate the space in the sun and open air. For the celebration we discussed what activities to include, we agreed to celebrate Christmas at the Rooftop with three activities; bringing everyone their favourite local coffee, decorating Christmas cookies, and making their snow globe.

We invited everyone in the building, including the Resident Coordinator’s team. This was an opportunity to engage more with the country office by providing a space where everyone would meet and see a more tangible effect of our work. 

Frankly, we were unsure how many people would join because usually the office become a bee hive at the end of each year. But within minutes, the Lab was filled with giggles and laughter, people dropping glitter all over the floor, water, and glue everywhere, a lot of dynamics going on, and most importantly, people from different pillars helping each other and exchanging tips on how to perfectly make their snow globe.

One of our colleagues replicated the snow globe activity with her daughter’s class. Additionally, one of the team leads sent us a thank you for the fun little break away from the daily work and our colleagues’ excitement extended for days after the event. Reflecting on the event and the appetite our colleagues showed for playing, we realised that there is a potential to bring the concept of “Play” to UNDP Jordan.

Playing games can be a relevant skill for the workplace in several ways. For instance, playing strategy games can enhance problem-solving skills, as players must analyse situations and make decisions to achieve their goals. Games requiring teamwork, such as multiplayer games, can improve communication and collaboration skills, which are essential in daily UNDP work. Our Christmas at the Rooftop event was a success. People enjoyed the opportunity to do something fun and creative using their hands. Confirming the power play can bring to the workplace we realized that more of these experiences could be and added value to our organization and plan to explore ways to incorporate play into our planning and day-today work.