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Playing Video Games At Work Could Boost Productivity

Playing Video Games At Work Could Boost Productivity

An expert reckons that playing at work could give your brain a chance to 'refresh', meaning you're better able to cope with 'less fun' tasks



Tell your boss it's time to cough up for a new console and a copy of Mario Karts or Call Of Duty all in the name of productivity, because an expert reckons gaming at work could be good for us and our workloads.

Psychologist Chris Ferguson from the University of Central Florida has suggested to LADbible that playing video games at work might have the potential to provide employees with a break from their hectic work environment in order to "refresh their brains".

It's thought that playing video games reduces stress levels and that they could therefore be the answer to a productive and motivated workforce. Sign me up.

Ferguson told LADbible: "We know that people can get psychological needs met such as socialisation, autonomy and competence while playing games. Needs they can't always get met at work.

"So short video game breaks can be helpful for people to feel recharged and give them a chance to have a bit of fun, so they can face less-fun tasks."

And you can tell your boss there's even research to back it up. A study carried out in 2017 by Michael Rupp at the University of Central Florida found that just five minutes of playing video games helped reduce stress and improve mood. They've obviously never experienced a banana skin while they're in the lead as Toad.

The study saw participants given a computer-based task that induced 'cognitive fatigue'. They were then split into groups, with one group left in a quiet room without their phone or a computer, and the other playing a game called Sushi Cat (which sounds immense, by the way).

It was found that only those who played the game reported feeling better after the break, whereas those who were in the quiet room said they 'experienced worry' after the break was over and that they felt 'less engaged with the work'.

Ferguson points out there are two types of employer - the traditional always on approach, or the outcome approach.

The always on employer, aside from the odd food and cig breaks, expects workers to always be focused on completing their tasks.

The more outcome-based approach sets employees goals to work towards. Ferguson said: "If workers feel the need to go off task for a bit, that's OK, so long as they still hit the milestones.

"The trick, of course, is balancing gaming with work. Short video game breaks are fine so long as people aren't tempted to abandon work tasks altogether."

Sounds good to me.

Words: Hannah Starkie

Featured Image Credit: Nintendo

Topics: Video Game, Interesting, Call of Duty