Today’s article focuses on our community puzzles which are part of our social and well-being program at Havio. There are lots of benefits to having puzzles in the workplace which will be covered in this article.
Some people start with the border, some focus on one specific part of the image and build out, some cluster similar pieces together even if they don’t connect them and others fit random pieces in as they walk by. We find employees fitting pieces into our puzzle whilst they have their lunch, wait for their tea to brew or if they want to take a break away from the screen.
Completing puzzles has the following benefits which, of course, employers can make the most of:
Improved memory – Solving puzzles helps reinforce existing connections between our brain cells. Puzzles are especially good for improving short-term memory. Our short-term memory helps us remember shapes and colours and visualise the bigger picture to figure out which pieces will fit together.
Better problem-solving skills – The ability to creatively solve problems and think critically is greatly valued in the workforce. Puzzles require us to take different approaches to try and solve a problem since there’s a lot of trial and error involved. We also learn the value of formulating theories, testing hypotheses, and changing our perspectives when something doesn’t work out according to plan. This benefits employers as it makes employees more innovative and adaptable.
Improved visual-spatial reasoning – When solving a puzzle, we have to look at different pieces and figure out where they fit in within the larger picture. Doing this regularly helps improve our visual-spatial reasoning. This can help with daily tasks such as driving a car, using a map, packing items into a box but most importantly visual spatial ability is very important for people who work in certain fields, such as architects and engineers.
Improved mood – Completing puzzles increases our brains production of dopamine. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that regulates mood and feelings of optimism. It also affects memory, concentration, and motivation. Dopamine is released every time we successfully solve a puzzle, or just put one piece in place. This encourages us to continue working on solving them and challenging ourselves.
Lower stress levels – At the same time that puzzles challenge us, they also help us to relax. Our brains also go from a “Beta”, or wakeful state to an “Alpha” state when we’re solving puzzles. This shift consciousness comes with many benefits including: improved mindset, relieves stress, improves mood and increases our self-confidence.
Increased attention to detail – When you’re trying to solve a puzzle, especially one with tiny pieces that all look alike, attention to detail is crucial. You need to train your eyes to pick out slight differences in colour or shape that will help you put everything together. An ability to pick up on small details helps in every aspect of our lives, especially at work. When we’re more detail orientated and precise, the quality of our work improves.
Increased productivity – When we’re happier and less stressed out, it’s easier for us to concentrate. When our concentration improves, our productivity naturally skyrockets. If you’re struggling to stay on task, consider taking a short break to solve a puzzle piece (or a few) and reset your brain.
Better collaboration – Having a puzzle in a communal area, such as the kitchen, allows employees to work together on solving it. This leads to improved relationships and their abilities to cooperate and finish a task.