Those who wanted to view the eclipse mostly prepared to do so safely. How did your company view employees watching the eclipse and prepare? Does the way your workplace handle “once in a blue moon” events like the total eclipse happening in the middle of prime working hours say something about your work culture? Outplacement firm Challenger, Gray, Christmas estimated a $694 million dollar loss to productivity during the peak twenty minute viewing in the US. The fact that millions of people will not be working for a brief time, or potentially taking the day off to view this rare event does not necessarily impact total productivity. It is my assertion that this break is actually a boost to productivity through a form of playfulness. Scenario 1: Discussion, planning of options for Eclipse Day Meetings arranged around the eclipse hours for maximum opportunity for those who choose to experience the eclipse (play is voluntary) Time off: perhaps 20 minutes, an hour, or the whole day. Flex time A work viewing party inside or outside, with or without families, possible themed food/decor Providing safe viewing equipment to employees or watching on-line/TV together Scenario 2: Business as usual, no “distractions allowed” Nose to the grindstone, all hands on deck, serious work only We’ll be watching you to make sure everyone is working hard Which culture has a scarcity mentality around financial pressures and which scenario speaks to a culture that is human centered valuing shared experiences? Many professions such as emergency services, first responders, transportation will not necessarily have the luxury of choice. When businesses that are able to choose, do embrace rare events such as this eclipse as opportunities to unify across diverse politics, interests, backgrounds, and company roles it can affect the bottom line in a positive way. Potential Positive Outcomes from Scenario 1 approach: Retention due to employees feeling valued and appreciated Engagement Trust increases with the flex time to get work done later Creativity and innovation catalyst after a “play break” from routine, new experiences Team bonding/communication improves with shared pleasurable experience Levity lifts spirits, morale, and re-energizes Researchers emphasize the importance of STEAM in education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Math). With technology such an integral part of our daily lives at home and work encouraging more scientific experiential learning around this rare solar event seems beneficial to all ages. We learn best when we play and this event can be a part of Learning and Development if prioritized. How adaptable and flexible is your company when it comes to these mass appeal events like an eclipse? Going forwards what events will capture the imagination and enthusiasm of your employees (and potentially clients) that you can capitalize on? As leaders there is a choice between viewing these events as expensive distractions or opportunities for positively playful disruption to the status quo. If you are looking to meet big goals the status quo is the last place you want to be. How do you plan to create your own everyday shared playfulness to enhance productivity, creativity, engagement, retention, team dynamics, and human centred culture through playful disruption?