Gaming in the workplace is disputable. Some claim it boosts productivity, others state it gets addictive and distracts from current tasks.
Overall, it is part of the liberation trend that has been present within work environments for a while and may have a great influence on the future of work.
In this article, we’ll review different looks on liberation and gaming in the working place to see how to benefit from this phenomenon.
Time for more freedom
Liberation at the workplace includes shorter working weeks, work from home or a hybrid working week, and more relaxation in the office, including gaming and perks.
According to the proponent of workweek-shrinkage Aidan Harper, who has been campaigning for a shorter week for several years, the shorter working week will bring many benefits to society, including better mental health and the reduction of carbon footprint. On the contrary, Tesla’s owner Elon Musk once tweeted that “nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week”. After he was asked about the correct number of hours to change the world, he mentioned “80”.
The trend of working from home is also on the rise. According to Statista, “companies worldwide have experienced significant reductions in the fixed costs of supporting a workplace environment, while upper management levels have gained confidence in their employees’ home office performance.”
Yet, there is a place for remote work backlash.
Elon Musk has recently demanded all his remote employees return to the office or be fired, claiming that work in the office is more productive.
While the value of remote work is being questioned, office perks like gaming, free coffee, and cookies are pretty popular.
For example, Google is famous for giving its employees free transportation, food, and massage, as well as paying their medical bills. Many companies, like MLSDev – a software development company specializing in apps, have special Xbox rooms where the staffers can meet and play games together. And since gaming at the workplace is also a disputable question, it got into the focus of interest of science.
Is gaming beneficial?
According to BYU research, newly-formed work teams experienced a 20 percent increase in productivity after playing video games together for 45 minutes. The text of their study is backed by references to numerous instances of similar research.
That means that sociologists and psychologists from different countries have long studied gaming in the workplace, and they often conclude that it may bring good results in helping people working in teams communicate better.
Based on that, Mark Keith, one of the co-authors, stated: “Team video gaming may truly be a viable — and perhaps even optimal — alternative for team building.”
Yet, there is a warning: this research regarded people that don’t know each other and have never worked together. Competitive team gaming may also reinforce biases in cases when people have worked in teams before.
Also, gaming causes addiction too. While some staffers rest and refresh when playing games together, others may get lost in a game’s virtual reality and experience difficulties when returning to work.
In any case, every work-liberation initiative has to be balanced, whether it is hybrid work or office gaming. Otherwise, the cons may overweight the pros of a once-great idea.
Author’s bio: Anastasiia Lastovetska is a technology writer at MLSDev, a software development company that builds web & mobile app solutions from scratch. She researches the area of technology to create great content about app development, UX/UI design, tech & business consulting.