At Roundpeg, we love to play hooky. It’s not that we don’t love our jobs or aren’t passionate about marketing and web design and all that other good stuff. But sometimes, you have to take a step back from your work and take a day for other things. That’s why last Friday we cancelled work. Oh, sure, a few of us did a couple of hours of work in the morning or a smidgen in the afternoon, but most of our day was focused purely on having fun and enjoying the crazy carnival atmosphere that is the Super Bowl in Indianapolis. We even got paid for our time.

It’s a pretty radical thing to do, for an employer to pay their employees for not working. But we’ve found that taking time away from work as a team can be just as valuable as anything we do from 9-5 in our office. First, it refreshes us. Because all of us are creatives of one stripe of another, it can be critical to avoid burnout by becoming inspired by the work of others. That’s why the TURF art exhibit presented by the Indianapolis Downtown Artists and Dealers Association was such a godsend. It’s like a giant playground for grownups (okay, some kids too) where you can interact with art, view it from all different angles, crawl around on the ground and manipulate lights with your body. It’s important to step away from our own art sometimes and to look at what others are doing, how their viewpoints and perspectives differ radically from ours, and to see how we can incorporate that inspiration into our work in fresh, new ways.

The other important thing that our hooky day did was to help us form a stronger team. In our office, there are very few projects that we complete solo. Sure, I might do most of the work on a social media account, Peter shepherds website projects from start to finish and Jenna rules the roost with logos, but there are very few projects any of us complete alone. Whether we’re coordinating work together or just turning to the others for advice and moral support, we’re a team. So when we can get a chance to bond about things other than difficult customers or tricky WordPress themes, it adds a different dimension to our office relationships. It helps us learn to trust each other, and to view each other as whole people instead of just coworkers.

And finally, it’s fun. Fun is a critical part of our culture–an aspect of business that experts are agreeing is becoming more and more important. Culture is the motivation, cohesion, connection, spirit and focus that drive all great businesses. It’s about what makes you go to work besides money and why you deliver the best service day after day. And a little fun never hurt anyone.

Just take a look at some of the fun we had:

Untitled 3