Gary Ware was working as a VP at a digital ad agency when he realized that being completely depleted, feeling broken, and having no drive to do anything was perhaps *not* normal. Gary was experiencing what many of us have faced, especially during the pandemic—burnout. So Gary took an improv class and realized play is what was missing in his life. On the podcast this week, Gary chats with Erica about his journey from burnout to breakthrough by incorporating play and games into the work day. He illustrates how applied improvisation and games help teams and colleagues unlock creativity, confidence, and better communication. Gary shares the challenges of reimagining in-person games to an online environment once the pandemic hit, signs an employee may be on the verge of burnout, why playing a silly game as a team before a client call can make everything go more smoothly, and why sense of intimacy must be created if we want to form genuine connection.