With the rising popularity of video games, the new work from home trend, and the COVID-19 pandemic, gaming is on the rise. Encouraging gaming in the workplace can offer multiple benefits to both employees and employers.
When smartphones were released, they changed the way people are able to do business. It allowed for people to take their work on the go with them and be more accessible to their clients. Combine smartphones with the ability to download numerous apps and interact through social media all in one place, the world is right at one’s fingertips.
Video games have had a negative connotation for many years. They have been labeled as a “time-waster”, and those who play video games are “slackers”.
Today, more than 214 million people in the United States play video games. But what if, video games are actually a positive tool that a company can utilize in order to create better employees?
Below are 5 reasons why gaming in the workplace can benefit employees and employers:
1. Increased Productivity
Playing video games in the workplace can increase productivity. A study by BYU showed a 20% percent productivity increase can occur by playing video games with your work teams for only 45 minutes.
Have you ever been working a day in the office and hit the afternoon slump?
Too late for more coffee, yet too early to call it a day?
The afternoon can drag if one has been cranking it out all morning. Bodies become tired and brains are overworked. Employees just need a break.
Employees can hop on a short game and focus on something else other than work for a few minutes. The Pomodoro Technique emphasizes this style of working. This technique helps increase productivity. After a short break, employees will be ready to jump back into their work with a renewed energy.
Taking time to play a quick video game can also relieve stress. According to the National Center For Biotechnology Information, playing a short game can refresh a person’s abilities, and it can increase moods and responses to stress. Also, playing video games can help control burnout and mental exhaustion. It reinforces the need for a work-life balance. Some games like Pokemon Go, encourage being active.
For more on keeping your employees healthy, see Virtual Healthy Living: 5 Ideas to Jumpstart Virtual Employee Wellness.
2020 has been a stressful year, anything employers can do for their employees to combat workplace stress is greatly appreciated.
2. Creates Community
We all know the digital world has become more and more popular, especially with the onset of a global pandemic. Interacting with other employees in a fun lighthearted way can create a community and allow for some great team bonding.
Because employees working in a more virtual setting, it isn’t always possible for employees to be able to have team-building activities with their co-workers. Yes, there are still ways to stay connected virtually, but employees may need another outlet.
By playing video games, employees can gather together virtually. They can work through challenges, build connections, and foster teamwork. This means employees are going to watch out for each other, and that is good for an organization. Communities work together. Fostering that within a company or organization will only make it stronger. It won’t matter where employees are located geographically, because they have a way to interact and get to know each other.
There are numerous games out there that require teams to work together in order to achieve a common goal. Gaming together will help employees to practice their teamwork skills and realize the need for collaboration in their work.
Working from home is causing employees to have a harder time recognizing when employees need one another’s help. Because of this challenge, employees may just work on it by themselves, and not collaborate as much.
Team gaming allows for the importance of collaboration to be emphasized in a more entertaining way. It could show employees how and when to collaborate on projects.
3. Transferable Skills
Gaming can increase skills and help employees better tackle the workplace. These are skills some employees maybe aren’t able to work on right now due to COVID-19. Games that require strategic thinking and problem-solving can translate to real-life problems and solutions. According to a study conducted by Missouri S&T, they found qualities from gaming translate to success on virtual workplace teams.
Playing games that require players to communicate with one another helps employees. Communication is an essential part of any organization. They work better together on work projects or tasks. If employees can improve their communication skills your organization will be more successful. Communication is vital for a company to be able to survive and thrive in a world.
All video games have a common theme. They all have a goal that needs to be reached with obstacles in the way. Players must figure out a plan around the obstacles to accomplish the goal. These games can help employees improve their problem-solving skills. It also can show employers that their employees are able to solve problems on their own. It gives them more ownership of their work.
Gaming in the workplace can make employees more adaptable. According to researchers in Scotland, playing video games can help individuals adapt better to situations or changes. Employers want their employees to be able to handle any changes well, and those who encourage gaming in the workplace could see these benefits.
4. Inspires Fresh Ideas
A video game can inspire employees to find new ideas on how to do their jobs. Michigan State University conducted a study finding that gaming led to creativity. When employees are inspired there is nothing they can’t accomplish. Plus, it helps keep a competitive edge on competitors in the industry.
5. Utilize it as a Tool
Video games can be used as a gamification tool in the workplace. They can be used for recruitment, training, or incentive purposes. There is an untapped potential for businesses to change the way their business succeeds. Gamification can incorporate the other four reasons for this article to overall help employees become better, which allows employers to thrive.
Technology is ever-changing. We must grow with it, or risk being left behind in the dust. Incorporating video games into your workplace can lead to major improvements.