Still with the idea of improving productivity, Microsoft is testing the integration of games into Teams. The firm did not invent anything, it is inspired by start-ups and their table football, their ping-pong tables or even the yellow and red poufs.
“People everywhere are striving to build trust, bond and improve team morale. Why not play games to help them? Here is the idea unveiled by Microsoft this week. The firm wants to offer its users the opportunity to play with work colleagues to foster relationships and collaboration. Based on a study by Brigham Young University, explaining that teams who played short video games together were 20% more productive than those who participated in more traditional team building activities, the Redmond firm wants innovate.
In this sense, today it presents the Games for Work application, developed by Microsoft Casual Games, an Xbox game studio. “Now you can easily add a game in the context where the work takes place: in Teams meetings” advances the firm. The user therefore has the choice from a selection of favorite casual games, including IceBreakers, Wordament, Minesweeper and Solitaire, presented as easy to play in fast-paced, interactive and multiplayer versions (from 2 to 250 players). Microsoft says they each focus on a different element of team building and are ad-free. “Games foster creativity, collaboration and communication in powerful and unique ways, and we can’t wait to see how the Games for Work app on Microsoft Teams inspires productivity and helps foster connections in the workplace,” said Jill Braff, general manager of integrations and casual games at Microsoft.
A scalable pilot version
The Games for Work application integrates directly into the course of the working day. Once the app is added, different users – or players – can enjoy the experience of these four games in Teams meetings, on desktop and on mobile. Available only to Teams Enterprise and Education customers, Games for Work is still in the pilot stage and “its performance as well as user feedback will influence the roadmap for casual games in Teams” indicates the Redmond firm.
Inspire, certainly, but not sure that it leads to more productivity among employees. Start-ups have already experienced this type of playful experience with table football, ping-pong tables, and other activities that above all inspire relaxation and give some workspaces a bar feel. Ultimately, only a minority of companies have adopted this universe. It remains to be seen whether this suite of games will really appeal to employees and whether the productivity it is supposed to generate will be there.