How to strengthen the bonds between employees in a hybrid working world? One of the avenues often pursued by HR is based on serious gaming. Microsoft prefers just “gaming” and integrates its Solitaire and other Minesweeper in multiplayer versions at the heart of Teams!
While a majority of CIOs and PC fleet administrators are rushing to remove games integrated into the system in their Windows deployments, Microsoft wants to reinfiltrate them at the heart of its Teams collaborative hub! These Windows games, like Solitaire or Minesweeper, hitherto perceived as detrimental to employee productivity are making a strong comeback in the company, driven by hybrid working and the need to find new ways to recreate links between employees working from home or on the move a large part of the time.
Last week Microsoft thus formalized a feature which we had echoed last June: the arrival of games in Teams. ” People everywhere are striving to build trust, bond and improve team morale. Why not play games to help them? Playing games with co-workers can indeed foster relationships and collaboration. While some may view gaming at work as a distraction, the benefits are many. In fact, according to a Brigham Young University study, teams that play short video games together are 20% more productive than those that engage in more traditional team-building activities. explains Nicole Herskowitz, Vice President Microsoft Teams.
The “Games for Work” application is installed at the heart of Microsoft’s collaborative hub. It only takes one click to integrate a game into a Teams meeting. Four games are available today. All were developed by the “Microsoft Casual Games” studio and derive from games available on the Windows Store: Solitaire, Minesweeper, Wordament and IceBreakers. But these versions are special. They have been rewritten in a “multi player” version and support from 2 to 250 players!
” More than 3 billion people around the world play games. They have a crucial role in bringing people together – especially in recent years with the pandemic crisis lockdowns says Jill Braff, general manager of the Microsoft Casual Games studio. ” Games foster creativity, collaboration and communication… We can’t wait to see how the Games for Work app on Microsoft Teams will inspire productivity and foster connections at work. »
Of course not everyone is a gamer. But the games offered are accessible to as many people as possible and, the magic of Teams obliges, collaborators are not all obliged to actively participate and can just look at others compete while making comments and gently mocking their colleagues.
Let’s face it, we at InformatiqueNews are very curious to see how this functionality will be appreciated by CIOs and renowned European bosses who are not really fans of mixing leisure and work. The games can be very addictive, especially in the multiplayer versions where everyone is called upon to beat the record of the others. And addiction is rarely compatible with productivity. Games For Work wants to instil a more collaborative culture in a world of work that has become hybrid but it will first be necessary, in many companies, to change the culture of CEOs, HR and CIOs.
However, at a time when layoffs are on the rise in Tech companies, using the game can be a fun and funny way to strengthen team ties and breathe a little fun into a potentially morose.
Microsoft’s initiative is not unique. Other publishers are also trying to rely on games and fun activities to make meetings more interactive and promote “team building”. This is notably the case of “Kahoot! », a publisher specializing in game-based learning at school and in business. Its solution can integrate with Teams and other collaborative platforms. In a slightly different style, this is also the case with Polly (which integrates with Teams, Slack and Zoom) and aims to make meetings much more interactive with Quizzes and games.
A different but complementary approach to that of “Serious Games” carried out by European and French players such as Succubus Interactive, Manzalab, My-Serious-Game, iLow, or in the field of cybersecurity Terranova.
Metaverse: Amazon launches an immersive serious game to train in its AWS cloud
Citizen Code Python: Amazon wants, through play, to compensate for the lack of Dev skills
Game-based training: an asset for digital transformation?
Serious games are investing in new sectors