According to a recent report from the World Economic Forum, 50 percent of all current employees will need to develop new job skills by 2025 due to rapid digitization — a phenomenon that Covid-19 has only accelerated. As such, the ability to acquire new skills such as active learning, resilience, flexibility, and stress tolerance, is critical for workers and businesses alike. That, however, is easier said than done.
The problem is that, as adults, these skills are now more difficult to build than it was when we were children. Learning through play though might be one easy — and fun — way to strengthen these qualities.
As is the case with children, learning through play can go a long way in helping adults deal with uncertainty and nurture curiosity, as well as provide new ways to tackle challenges and innovate. Studies have shown that learning through play is key to a child’s wellbeing and ability to develop creative, social, physical, and cognitive skills, which are all critical drivers of success later in life.
To ensure that these skills continue to be nourished as we grow older, adults need to remain engaged in learning, play, and creativity. Sparking a joy of learning by engaging in a new hobby or challenging task enables us to adapt our mindset to new challenges. Additionally, play helps boost the plasticity of the brain, reduces stress, and enables us to pursue goals while keeping distractions at bay.
The learning through play approach is common in many education systems across the world because it foresters the necessary skills kids need to thrive later in life. There’s no reason why similar principles of learning shouldn’t be applied in the workplace, where workers and businesses are increasingly facing the challenge of having to gain new skills and adapt to today’s rapidly changing economy.