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Ping pong might save your career.

Any agency worth its salt has a ping pong table. It’s a pervasive phenomenon, but why?

As David Ogilvy said, “When people aren’t having any fun, they seldom produce good advertising.” There’s definitely been research to back that statement up; one study from Australia showed that cruising the internet just for fun during work hours increased productivity in employees. As the study author put it: “People need to zone out for a bit to get back their concentration… Short and unobtrusive breaks, such as a quick surf of the Internet, enables the mind to rest itself, leading to a higher total net concentration for a days’ work, and as a result, increased productivity.”

A New York Times article says something similar, that concentration is similar to a muscle, “It becomes fatigued after sustained use and needs a rest period before it can recover.” (Read the full article). Their solution is breaks—even better, a break that involves physical activity. We could outfit every agency with a treadmill, but ping pong is conveniently made for teams—perfect for a AD/CW pair.

Next time you are pushing yourself to think to no avail, try a little ping pong. While you probably deserve a break, you might also need one.

Read the full Wired and New York Times articles.