GUEST POST: Stressed at work? Game on!
By Carmie Dulguime* AT LEAST 50 percent of my daily news feed from my Facebook âfriendsâ is about their games updates. Someone just bought a harvester in Farm Ville. Another one needs help in ordering a hit on Mafia Wars. Yet another one took a photo of her pet in Pet Society and made it her profile pic (uhrm, that would be me). Time stamps of these feeds indicate that these games are being played during office hours. Talk about stress-busting at work! Playing online games during office hours were frowned upon in offices about six years ago. Today, the atmosphere has changed radically. Companies are beginning to embrace the idea of letting their employees play at work for, believe it or not, productivity and motivation purposes. Perhaps these companies realized they could not stop their employees from stealing company time by playing online even with sophisticated software installed in the system to monitor employeesâ activities online. Thanks to companies like Snowfly, Inc., online gaming during office hours are now legitimized because of the advantageous effects of its web-based incentive software programs. It developed a gaming program called Capstone which rewards employees for playing. In return, the company gets real-time results that help determine the productivity and morale level of its workforce. Too good to be true? Itâs a win-win situation for both employees and the company, if you ask me. Aside from incentives, online gaming in the workplace is now also being used as training aides. At Novartis in London, employees play interactive games online in order to familiarize themselves with company policies and code of ethics. This most certainly makes seminars and workshops a lot more exciting than merely looking at Powerpoint presentations, watching videos, or performing skits. This should not, however, provide employees with a convenient excuse to become a slacker at work. Games, in any form, are addicting. It can defeat the purpose of de-stressing and/or learning through online games. All work and no play can make you dull, but more play and less work may make you lose your job. *Carmie Dulguime is a corporate editor in a multinational public relations company. Her work encourages actual participation in social networking through the Internet, including online gaming.
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