Playing video games, also called esports, is the new way to teach the value of teamwork. A 2018 study by professors at Brigham Young University reported at aisnet.org that work teams significant increase after playing video games for just 45 minutes.

Make popular video games part of your workplace culture

During this time of COVID-19 restrictions, it’s easier than ever to get employees together to play games online. Using the same software you use for meetings, like Zoom or Discord, you can play video games together with voice chat.

Think about what you want to solve. Here’s a look at the issues you may want to address along with some fun, easy to play games that can help you make some changes.

Cooperation

A common roadblock in the small business workplace is cooperation between employees. Learning how to work things out amicably and quickly is a skill that needs to be applied often when working on projects. Multiplayer puzzle games are a great way to work on that skill in a low-pressure environment.

Biped is a game where two players work together to leap over obstacles and generally avoid danger. This game features puzzles that increase with difficulty as you near the end of the game.

Portal 2 is a popular game that has a dedicated co-op mode where players can create portals to travel through together while exploring a science lab and solving puzzles.

Communication

Learning how to talk to someone effectively in a high-pressure situation is another skill most people can learn to improve.

Overcooked! 2 is the game of choice for improving communication. Two players have to work together in a high-pressure situation (a restaurant kitchen) to cook and plate food for hungry customers. Using verbal commands is the best way to get good results out of this game, and people who can manage to calmly communicate their needs will excel here.

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes features a bomb that must be defused by a player but they don’t have the instructions to do so. The other players must decipher the instructions given on their screens, and calmly tell the bomb defuser what to do. Can your employees work together to make sure the in-game bomb doesn’t go off? If they can, it’s likely they’ll be able to work together to defuse workplace conflicts as well.

Teamwork

Every small business needs teamwork at its core, and video games can help build the trust needed to carry out tasks as a team.

Moving Out is a physics co-op game where players arrange furniture, toting couches across busy streets and moving walkways. Working together and loading all of the items safely into the moving truck will result in a fat paycheck, while breaking the items and not working together will force the team to start again. It’s another low-pressure way to put your work skills into practice.

Rock Band is a classic collaborative game that requires a sense of rhythm and a sense of humor to get all of the songs right, and it can be a fun respite from a long day’s work for your employees.

Problem Solving

Want to encourage your employees to figure things out for themselves? Critical thinking is at the core of any good business.

Human: Fall Flat is a funny little co-op multiplayer game for up to seven people. It’s a sandbox obstacle course that players have to complete to win the game. The best part is the puzzles have many solutions, so there is no one perfect answer to the problem, just like in business.

The Jackbox Party has a number of collaborative games packaged together, including Drawful 2, a Pictionary-like game that can easily be played over Zoom. Just share the invite URL or room ID with your employees, and they can be in on the fun.

Employee Engagement

Keeping employees interested and focused on their work can be tough, especially while working remotely, with home-distractions abound. Engaging in employees while playing a game can make them more interested in working with you or their coworkers, resulting in more focus during non-playing time.

Minecraft is one game that can enrich the imagination and engagement of employees. It is a sandbox game where players create their own environment. Players can build weapons and homes and battle monsters on pre-generated maps. Employees will have to use their creativity and work together to survive in the game.

Google Feud is similar to the game show Family Feud, where players guess the most common answers given to a question. This free game is great to play on the TV at work, allowing employees to offer answers that determine how Google would autocomplete each question. Employees can show off their creativity and quick thinking, while  everyone gets a chance to answer.

Set up some time to play

Organizing a company game session can be as easy as sending out a calendar invitation and setting up a game for everyone to play over the Internet.

The results of video gaming in the workplace can be stellar, or they can be subtle. Ken Lin, founder of Credit Karma, says he’s seen his employees’ productivity increase after video game breaks. Many games can be played in three to ten-minute intervals, so the breaks are short but provide a mental respite for workers. It’s time to press start on success in the workplace, and offer some beneficial fun to employees.