Because the vast majority of office workers know that the regular 9 to 5 routine can easily blow out to an 8 to 6 day, it’s vitally important to make sure that the time we’re spending with our colleagues isn’t doing us harm.
We’re constantly bombarded by advice that taking microbreaks, getting out of the office during lunch breaks, and disengaging from computer screens during the working day will help prevent physical stresses and strains while keeping our brains from reaching breaking point.
But what is the best way to distract yourself from office tasks? What are the best ways to combine a little co-worker camaraderie with that all-important downtime when travelling for business or even in the office? And is there really a way to bring fun sidetracks into the workplace that boost productivity?
Office games can be a great stress-reliever and a perfect way to provide a way for workers to step away from their screens, while remaining in an engaging activity. Bringing games into the workplace could be the key to improving morale, productivity and team work.
So here’s our breakdown of the best office games and why they work in the workplace and on the road when travelling for business.
The standalone games:
Having a darts board, or table-tennis, pool or foosball table at work gives co-workers the chance to choose their own downtime. This sort of flexibility is a hallmark of tech and startup companies and is a great way to give offices a “creative vibe” while encouraging colleagues to have fun with each other, build morale and thus bond as teammates. The benefit of having a designated area for these sort of games is that it becomes a station for downtime where people can gather away from screens, or a refuge for individuals.
The team-building games:
There’s nothing worse than poorly thought-through team-building and always the chance that all the good work can be undone by one pessimist who’s intent on spoiling the fun. But hotel conference room egg-and-spoon races, communication games or well-organised scavenger hunts in the are a great way to help build camaraderie among co-workers when travelling for business.
The online games:
It might be tough for many Boomers and Gen-Xers to get their heads around, but for the Millennials coming into the workplace who have been raised on a diet of Xboxes and Wii consoles, being able to get into some online gaming during the working day can be of benefit. Provided it is well monitored and doesn’t take over a working day, online gaming has been shown to boost dopamine and testosterone levels to reward achievement, improve memory and increase task efficiency. Yes, it doesn’t get employees away from screentime, and workers who go online gaming in their breaks might also be advised to take a gym session or walk around the block during their lunch break, but online gaming can go a long way to helping train the brain for work-related tasks.
The regular break games:
Having regular office games can help create team bonding and also provide an engaging focus separate from the sort of work-related conversations that dominate water-cooler downtime. At the office or when travelling for business, why not break up the work with team games of carpet bowls, round-the-clock darts or mini basketball hoops? This can be both a break and lead to months-long championships or leagues.
The start-of-the-week meeting games:
Game-playing has always been a way to motivate workers and stimulate individuals – and sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed at the start of a working week or a business trip. These sorts of games are really designed to get people on track and can include show-and-tell presentations, teams trying to match childhood photos to current co-workers, nominating and recognising co-workers’ contributions, or truth games where colleagues share “facts” about themselves, one of which is false and the rest of the team has to guess which “fact” is fiction.
We know that work can’t always be fun and games, but that’s no reason why fun and games shouldn’t play an important role in the work day!