“They’ve simplified the mechanics, so instead of four hours to invade France it takes 10 minutes,” he said.
Research suggests that these so-called micro-breaks are beneficial. In a 2014 study by researchers at Kansas State University in the US of 72 full-time employees from a variety of industries, those who spent one or two minutes during breaks in their day playing games such as Candy Crush on their phones reported being happier than their peers. Employees reported spending 22 minutes playing video games during an eight-hour workday.
Outside of start-ups, though, many traditional companies still feel games are unproductive.
To get his office mates on board with video game breaks, Sam Williamson, 27, started by playing soundtracks of old school console games such as Super Mario to see the reaction at the office. Colleagues at Guardian Removals, an Edinburgh-based moving and storage company, found the catchy tunes less distracting than songs with words and warmed up to the idea of game breaks.
Nowadays, Williamson has an old-school Nintendo 64 console in the office, and the team plays on Fridays or on some mornings, he said.
“It just helps get your day started on the right foot.”
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