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Should the Workplace Toy Around with Fidget Spinners?

The fidget spinner. Every kid either has one, or wants one. Now the question is: should the workplace toy around with them, too?

My grade schooler has been asking for one of these colorful spinny things (my words) for weeks. Everyone at school has one! I finally caved in and ordered one for less than $10. It is expected to arrive in the mail on the last day of school. Go figure.

If you haven't heard of the fidget spinner, it's a small, three-pronged piece of plastic that -- you guessed it! -- spins around very quickly. Fidget spinners come in different shapes and colors, and some models even glow in the dark. They fit in our hands, and capture our attention. The fidget spinner is marketed as being a stress-relieving device for children with ADHD, ADD, anxiety or autism. They inhabit a toy category called "fidget toys."


Schools have been banning them, experts are debating them, and the Fidget Spinner Association wants everyone to enjoy them.

But what about the workplace, where we need to stop fiddling around and get back to work? Managers who haven't encountered fidget spinners in the open office environment may see them soon enough. If you're a manager who wants to create a "fun" (read: less stressful) workplace culture, then fidget spinners might put a new spin (pun intended) on things. The downside to using fidget spinners in the workplace? Well, a co-worker might give us the annoyed side eye and ask: "Could you put that away? It's distracting." One employee's attempt to de-stress could become another employee's distraction. We'll see how the average manager plays it.

My opinion? If a fidget spinner helps you focus and/or lowers your anxiety levels, then go for it. Just be courteous toward those around you when you sit and spin.

You might also check out a new fidget spinner app that is the number-one download on the App Store today. This way, you can play on your phone while your colleagues think you're checking your messages. We'll see whether or not the fidget spinner takes off in the workplace. In the meantime, I'll let you focus on your work.


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