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Work Stress Busters: Games and Toys in the Workplace

16 June 2021

If you work in an office, you most probably spend most of your day sitting at your desk. Humans are not built to sit for this long, and slouching over in your desk chair can harm your health and contribute to workplace stress. Physical activity helps relieve stress in a multitude of ways. For starters, it keeps your heart healthy by increasing the amount of oxygen it receives, and it also helps to reduce stress hormones by releasing endorphins, or happy hormones, into your body. These endorphins serve to counteract the harmful effects of stress and promote happiness.

Some of your time may be filled up by activities that aren't directly related to your work, such as reading tweets or gazing at your screen while you try to encourage yourself to focus on whatever you're meant to be working on. Everyone requires a break at some point, but how you use it can be the distinction between returning to work in a decent length of time or slipping into one of those deep, dark online parallel universes.

Every business wants its workforce to be engaged and productive, but almost every organization struggles with this relatively mundane task. When you can strike the right balance between work and leisure, you will be astounded at the total benefits to your company's reputation. Allowing employees to play more games at work is a smart strategy that many companies are actively pursuing.

What can games at work do?

Playing games with your employees regularly is a terrific way to establish teamwork and provide a much-needed reprieve from the demands of a workday (or work week), all while improving team spirit. When employees are having a good time, it all seems to fall into place. Allow them to play more games, and you'll see how you can create a productive and healthy work environment.

Games may appear to be an incredible asset to an otherwise chaotic workplace, but they are brimming with advantages that every HR professional will welcome. Encouraging your team to play more office games can have these benefits:

  • Increases employee morale
  • Recruits and retains talent
  • Improves hand-eye coordination and motor skills
  • Creates a strategy
  • Increases adaptability
  • Motivates employees
  • Enhances cognitive functions
  • Reduces stress
  • Helps with team building
  • Encourages collaboration

Games that can help relieve stress.

Playing games and having a good time, such as online games, board games, puzzles, and card games, is one of the most effective methods to handle stress. After a grueling workday, games keep your mind off the stressful situations for a few moments and allow you to let off some steam.

One-minute typing test

If you Google "typing test," you'll find tons of websites that calculate typing speed. Choose one and put it to use for this assignment.

Two truths and one lie

Each team member creates two true and one fake assertion about themselves. Everyone then gets a turn telling their facts and telling a lie. Players on the team must carefully listen and determine which of the assertions is false. Hearing what others think of the statements gives the individual a nice laugh. The entire team has a good chuckle and learns a little bit more about each other.

Pick up M&Ms with chopsticks

If you play it as a group, you'll need many M&Ms, bowls, and chopsticks, but it's well worth the effort in materials. Ask participants to grab up and transport as many M&Ms as possible from one dish to another (empty bowl) in one minute using only the chopsticks given to whoever has the most wins.

Statue game

Before the next meeting, designate one person to be the statue. Before it starts, notify everyone who will be there of the rules of the game. The individual chosen as the statue will transform into a statue throughout the session. The statue determines when she or he will become a statue. And as others at the meeting become aware, they must also transform into statues. In the next round, the last person to turn into a statue will become the next statue. What a terrific way to spice up dull meetings!

Trivia game

Make sufficient copies for every employee by writing ten to twenty trivia questions on a piece of paper. Bring everyone together and give each person one minute to answer as many questions as they can. The one who answers the most questions correctly wins. You may offer prizes for second and third place as well.

Ninja game

The goal of the game is to "vanish" at inconvenient times. The more surprising your disappearance and the more thorough your disappearance, the better. For instance, while strolling down a hallway with a colleague, slip into a lift as the door closes and "disappear." The first person to perform the Ninja disappearing act twice on the other wins.

Treasure hunt

Team names should be written on two sets of things. Hide each item throughout the office — this is easier to accomplish if the items are hidden in a rarely utilized spot while your employees are busy working. Divide into two groups, one for each team name. Allow each team one minute to find as many things containing their team name as possible.

Separate beans

This game requires a spacious workspace and a lot of beans, but it's a simple and entertaining diversion. Get two bags of kidney beans, two chickpeas bags, or any other different colored or shaped beans. Each group should get one bag of kidney beans and one bag of chickpeas. Divide into two teams, and then teach each team to sort the beans by type. The team with the most kidney beans and chickpeas in one minute wins.

Desk toys

There will always be those tension between different personalities, and not all of us will have positive relationships with all of our colleagues. Some employment conditions are also unsuitable for group games and enjoyable workplace activities. That doesn't mean you can't enjoy playing games alone to relieve some of the workplace stress. Simply purchase some office desk toys to play with and be creative.

  • Mini pool table
  • Labyrinth
  • Zen garden
  • Punching bag
  • Mini hoop
  • A pen and golf club combo
  • Wooden puzzle cubes
  • Fidget spinner
  • Mini bowling lane
  • Magnetic putty
  • Mini arcade

Or if you're really lucky…

  • Ping Pong
  • Arcade Games
  • Air Hockey
  • Pinball
  • Foosball
  • Board Games
  • Video Games
  • Billiards

Bringing gaming time to the office may seem paradoxical, but the rewards for your workforce and your organization are substantial. Set up weekly events, game breaks in the middle of the day, or morning contests. You'll be surprised at how beneficial a little friendly competition and delightful game time can be for your team. It appears to function well.

A few simple activities performed at worktime can completely revolutionize your company by reinvigorating your employees' spirits and increasing their enthusiasm for their tasks. The straightforward release of energy allows individuals to refocus and, as a result, become more effective and efficient at work.