Icebreakers are coming to remote workers, as Microsoft Teams has launched a new feature that will add a little fun to your day called “Games for Work.”
Gaming has become increasingly popular, particularly since the start of the pandemic. This progressive albeit unique approach to connecting remote employees with their coworkers by Microsoft Teams could bridge the company culture gap that so many managers have been concerned about since the hybrid work model became so common.
Sure, there are only four games, but Microsoft Teams gets updates so frequently, we wouldn't be surprised if more games showed up along the way.
Microsoft Teams Adds Games for Work App
Announced in a company blog post, Microsoft Teams will be adding a new app to the collaboration platform called “Games for Work.” The app will allow up to 250 participants to join one of four games within the actual platform, bringing some fun to the workday.
“Over 3 billion people around the world play games, serving a crucial role in bringing people together – especially during these last few years. Games promote creativity, collaboration and communication in powerful and unique ways, and we can’t wait to see the how the Games for Work app on Microsoft Teams inspires productivity and helps foster connections in the workplace.” – Jill Braff, General Manager of Integrations and Casual Games at Microsoft.
Which games will be available in Microsoft Teams? They've definitely got classics that you'll recognize and hopefully love, including Solitaire and Minesweeper, as well as an IceBreaker game and Wordament, a word challenge game that's sure to stretch your team's imagination.
Given Microsoft's success in the gaming industry with the Xbox, it's safe to say the company is well equipped to provide a comprehensive gaming experience through the Teams platform. But do employees really need to be having fun at work?
The Importance of Play at Work
While lots of companies are laying off employees, it's safe to say the majority of businesses want to retain top talent, and the best way to do that is to keep your employees happy. While company culture remains difficult to establish in a hybrid work setting, you can't discount the importance of having fun through your job.
In fact, according to the Association for Psychological Science, play at work can lead to “less fatigue, boredom, stress, and burnout in individual workers,” which alone is a good enough reason to make an effort when it comes to having a little fun.
“Studies show that when a participant receives a task that is presented playfully, they are more involved and spend more time on the task.”
Sure, playing a few rounds of Solitaire in between meetings isn't going to entirely revamp your productivity numbers, but it could create a better sense of community within your team, and that's always good for business.