46% of creative workers want to play video games at work, and the timing has never been better to encourage your employees to play. The COVID-19 pandemic has left everyone feeling kind of “blah,” and we can all use a little pep in our steps! What better way than picking up a video game controller?

Whether your employees are back at the office or still working from home, there are plenty of ways to bring video games into your work day Ask your team to play during their breaks, set up online Call of Duty battles, or keep a Nintendo Switch in your breakroom.

No matter what, it’s worth playing video games if you’re feeling uninspired at work. It may seem like a backwards step, but the numbers and studies may just surprise you!

What Are the Benefits of Playing Video Games?

Playing video games is often seen as a lazy day activity, but there are many benefits to picking up a controller from time to time. Whether you’re shooting asteroids on an old-school Atari or catching ghosts in “Luigi’s Mansion” on the Nintendo Switch, you may just feel yourself becoming a better worker with every button you press!

Are you feeling stuck on a work project? Playing video games could be the answer! Here are all the benefits of bringing game play into your work day:

  • Faster decision making
  • Increased productivity
  • Better memory
  • Less stress
  • Improved communication

1. Faster Decision Making

Source: gameworldobserver.com

There are some employees who act like baby deer that are learning how to walk for the first time. They simply aren’t confident in the choices they make at work. In fact, a 2019 study found that about 33% of employees lack confidence in their skills at work.

Playing video games is a good way to make employees feel more sure of the decisions they’re making. After all, when you’re engaged in a game you’re forced to react quickly and efficiently without assistance!

To see an example, let’s look at a game called Cuphead (available on the Nintendo Switch and Xbox One). The objective is to quickly battle your way through a series of bosses, dodging such obstacles as flying waffles, sliding poker chips, twisted plant vines, and evil balloons. You won’t defeat each boss unless you rely on your own reflexes and skillset.

If you have a new hire, ask them to play a video game like Cuphead and have a follow-up meeting about decision-making. This may seem unusual, but it can help unconfident employees stand by their choices and react under pressure.

2. Increased Productivity

Oh no… it’s that dreaded 3 P.M. slump! You can get through that little hurdle with a good video game break. In fact, research from Brigham Young University finds that playing video games for just 45 minutes a day can increase productivity by up to 20%.

You won’t be able to carve out 45 minutes every work day just for video games. This isn’t an arcade, after all! But you can still have at least some playtime.

Are you the manager of a company? Sneak video games into the office by doing any of the following:

  • Mail your employees handheld games or consoles as holiday gifts. They can play off the clock as a way to unwind after a long day.
  • If you’re back at the office, keep a console in the breakroom. Be sure to have sanitizer wipes nearby so your team can clean up after they’re done playing.
  • Host online or virtual games once a month as a teambuilding activity.

It’s about being creative and finding ways to incorporate video games into your work day. The result could just be a little boost in productivity during those hard hours where attention and energy is waning.

3. Better Memory

Source: hardcoregamer.com

A good memory is often an overlooked skill in the workplace. It’s a fundamental part of learning, and may just save you some headaches if you’re juggling a ton of projects at once.

So can video games help heighten information recall? The Journal of Neuroscience found that the answer is “yes!” Researchers from the University of California, Irvine had 69 participants play Super Mario 3D World every day for 2 weeks. The gamers were then tasked with completing follow-up memory tests.

Surprisingly, the employees ended up doing a lot better on these memory tests than they did before playing the game. It just goes to show if you play video games, you may just 1-up your focus during the work day!  

4. Less Stress

Your employees are working hard all day, and while a good stress ball can save the day, it’s even better to give your team a mental break. Video games provide an outlet, especially when it’s a fun, mindless game like Animal Crossing or Tetris.

In 2016, a team of researchers looked into whether or not video games relieve stress by observing 100 participants. The result? Stress levels declined for people playing both competitive and cooperative video games.

Do you have an employee that needs a few minutes to simmer down after completing a taxing project? Ask them to fire up their favorite console and play! Did you have a long, taxing day at work? Plug in a controller and play for at least 30 minutes before dinner.

5. Improved Communication

Trust falls, icebreaker games, charades… you don’t have to resort to these outdated teambuilding activities to keep your employees engaged. Sometimes it’s simple as plugging in a few video game controllers and letting loose!

Shockingly, only 14% of employees believe teambuilding enhances their communication with managers and other staff. That number may just skyrocket when you play multiplayer video games that are specifically designed for communication.

If video games are good enough for “The Office,” they should be good enough for your office!

What Are the Best Video Games?

In the world of competitive gaming, players often refer to beginners as “noobs.” Are you a “noob” to video games in general? Below you’ll find few awesome multiplayer titles that are a ton of fun and are great for boosting productivity and relieving stress!  

  • Call of Duty: Cold War
  • Portal 2
  • Burnout Paradise
  • Super One More Jump
  • Super Mario Party
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
  • Pix the Cat
  • Fall Guys
  • Mutant Football League

Call of Duty: Cold War

Available On: Xbox, PS4, PS5, PC

Maximum Players: Up to 12

Sometimes you have to let off steam. What better way than going into literal battle? Play a “Team Death Match,” with the highest kill count winning, or “Search & Destroy,” where your team has to defend or detonate a giant bomb. This is a good game mode for multiple players as it’s 6 people per team.

Portal 2

Maximum Players: 2

Available On: PC, Xbox

Communication is key in Portal 2. You and a fellow robot are armed with only a portal gun and your wits. Your mission is to then unlock the puzzle of each room and make it into the next room without falling off a cliff or getting attacked by mini robots. This is a good game to play during breaks for people who work closely with a partner in their careers.

Burnout Paradise

Available On: PS4, PS5, Xbox

Maximum Players:  8

Burnout Paradise is a classic racing game that totally disregards the rules of the road. You have a few options for how you can play the game: 1) Race Mode – race on regular courses, 2) Takedown Mode – crash into the other racers and cause them to crash in brutal ways, and 3) Crash Mode – pass around the controller and see who can cause the most massive pileup.

Super One More Jump

Available On: Nintendo Switch, PC

Maximum Players:  4

Do you know your colors? Perfect! That’s all you need to play Super One More Jump. This downloadable game is a series of mazes, with each player being responsible for their own section: blue, yellow, pink, or purple. You have to work together to get to the end without crashing into a wall or the other obstacles along the way!

Super Mario Party

Available On: Nintendo Switch

Maximum Players:  4

You don’t get more classic than Mario Party. It’s basically a giant board game where you play as different characters in the Super Mario Bros universe and compete in mini games. This is a fun game for everyone, even if you’re not that into video games.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate

Available On: Nintendo Switch

Maximum Players:  8

Nothing will quite bond your team like beating each other to a pulp as video game characters! Peach can face off against Mario, Kirby can do battle with Jigglypuff, and Sonic can go head-to-head with the Duck Hunt Duo. Anything goes!

Pix the Cat

Available On: PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PC

Maximum Players:  4

This is a world of cell phones and Netflix, which means downloadable games are more and more common. Pix the Cat fits into that group! This puzzle game can be played single player or as a group. It exercises your critical thinking skills, which is an important trait in any workspace.

Fall Guys

Available On: PS4, PC

Maximum Players: 4

Do you need a good laugh? Pick up the controller and play “Fall Guys” as a team! Everyone chooses a cute, wobbly character to run around obstacle courses. The idea is to still be standing by the finish line before the time runs out.

Mutant Football League

Available On: PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4, PS5, Xbox

Maximum Players:  4

Every year, EA Sports releases football video games like Madden or NFL Blitz. Mutant Football League twists those games on their head. For instance, instead of being Tom Brady or Cam Newton, you’ll play as Bomb Shady or Wham Neutron. The football players are mutants, skeletons, werewolves, or aliens instead of grown men with big biceps.

These video games are excellent for any office environment and will encourage your team to let loose and have some fun. Plus, they can be played online, which is a benefit in this world of remote work.

Final Thoughts

The verdict is in: Video games are definitely a good thing and may help you be a better worker. As long as you’re playing during breaks or when you’re off the clock, you could have a huge boost in your productivity. Not to mention, you as an employer will reap the benefits of having an overall stronger team atmosphere.

So press that power button and get to playing video games!

References

Wilkinson, M. 18 of Google’s Employee Perks You’re Missing Out on. Retrieved from, https://www.coburgbanks.co.uk/blog/friday-funnies/googles-employee-perks/

Moore, E. (2019, January 5). 15 Coolest Offices of the Best Places to Work. Retrieved from, https://www.glassdoor.com/blog/best-places-to-work-2021/

Biswas, S. (2019, January 18). A Third of Your Employees Lack Confidence in Their Skills, Reveals Docebo Report. Retrieved from, https://www.hrtechnologist.com/news/learning-development/a-third-of-your-employees-lack-confidence-in-their-skills-reveals-docebo-report/

All Work. (2019, July 2). 46% of Creative Workers Want Video Games in the Office. Retrieved from, https://allwork.space/2019/07/46-of-creative-workers-want-video-games-in-the-office/

Anderer, J. (2019, November 29). Study: Key to Team-Building, Productivity in the Office – is a Playstation? Retrieved from, https://www.studyfinds.org/study-key-to-team-building-productivity-in-the-office-is-a-playstation/

Roy, A. Ferguson, C. (2016 March). Competitively Versus Cooperatively? An Analysis of the Effect of Game Play on Levels of Stress. Retrieved from, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0747563215302351?via%3Dihub

Canales, K. (2020, April 1). The WHO is Recommending Video Games as an Effective Way to Stop the Spread of COVID-19. Retrieved from, https://www.businessinsider.com/who-video-games-coronavirus-pandemic-mental-health-disorder-2020-4

Bowler, J. (2017, April 26). 6 Scientific Benefits of Playing Videogames. Retrieved from, https://www.sciencealert.com/6-scientific-benefits-of-playing-videogames

Schrielberg, E. (2018, October 2). Why People Hat Team-Building Events (and How to Make Them Lovable). Retrieved from, https://www.toolbox.com/hr/learning-development/articles/why-people-hate-team-building-events-and-how-to-make-them-lovable/

Huddleston, T. (2020, June 2). How ‘Animal Crossing’ and the Coronavirus Pandemic Made the Nintendo Switch Fly Off Shelves. Retrieved from, https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/02/nintendo-switch-animal-crossing-and-coronavirus-led-to-record-sales.html

About the author

Alyssa Mertes

Alyssa is a promo expert with over four years of experience in the industry. She is the Lead Copywriter at Quality Logo Products and has had work published for the Promotional Products Association International and the Advertising Specialty Institute.