All Work, All Play – Lessons from India

Recently I had the privilege of traveling to Bangalore, India to deliver some leadership and team training to a fantastic group of emerging leaders at the Ian Martin Group.

Let me start by saying that these recruiters are ultra-professional and work incredibly hard. They are passionate and dedicated to their jobs and give 100% to contribute to a thriving bottom line.

What was also apparently is the fact that as much as they are committed to hard work, they are equally committed to having fun at the same time. Their positivity, playfulness and ability to enjoy each day was quite amazing.

It was evident in the way we were greeted on the first day:

greeting alt

It was evident when they would hang around the office and sing and dance at the end of the work day:


It was evident when they spontaneously burst into a choreographed routine during a “tea break” at one of our training sessions:

It was evident when they fit in a quick 10 minute pick-up cricket game during lunch:


And it was evident in the way that they supported one another in the training sessions:


On my way home I reflected on how unique their workplace culture is, and what a sad statement that is on most other workplaces. The fact that this “All Work / All Play culture is incredibly uncommon is unfortunate for two key reasons:

The first is that employees suffer. Most of us spend the majority of our waking hours at work. A culture that is overly serious – or worse – negative or intimidating is not a good way to spend these waking hours. Life is too short to be miserable at work!

The second reason is that the organization suffers. Unhealthy culture results in low productivity, high turnover and poor employee engagement. When organizations can learn to embrace both work and play, and hold these values in healthy tension, organizations and their employees win.


Ask yourself: what are ways you’re working to embrace both work and play in your workplace? Are you finding time and creating space for staff interaction? Do you foster a spirit of celebration and recognition for special occasions and accomplishments? Do you invest in opportunities for team members to learn and grow together?

My Indian friends provided me with a wonderful reminder of how everyone wins when an organization can foster an All Work / All Play culture. I can’t wait to go back!

Leaders for Leaders provides fun and interactive team-building and leadership development programs that will make your next corporate event unforgettable. Interested in your free program proposal? Get in touch!

*Many leaders have a great vision but fail to live it out. They get stuck because of conflicting values and chronic issues. Leaders for Leaders offers workshops and keynote that helps people get unstuck so they can unite their team, spark change, and live their values. We can help get you unstuck at*

Tim Arnold

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