More and more companies and organisations are realising that improving employee performance and creative thinking is not just about cracking the whip to make people work harder, for a little more pay. In fact, in some circumstances it can be counter-productive. One quick and fairly inexpensive method to improve outputs is to improve employee conditions with the introduction of a game table(s). What, I hear you say? Let employees play games during work hours? Yes and there are a number of really compelling reasons why games tables in the work place can improve employee creative thinking and employee performance. Below are 5 of great reasons, but there are many more.
The Smith Institute, a UK think-tank completed a study that showed more British workers believe they are working longer (2/3rds) than they did previously. However only 10% believe they are working more productively. In fact, the study revealed that over 25% though their productivity had declined! The study went on to reveal that many employers measured productivity gains by cutting jobs or doing the same tasks faster, whereas the employees feel they should receive better pay and conditions from increased productivity.
It’s possibly worse for Americans, recent studies show that on average Americans work longer hours than their European counterparts.
If you are in a job involves a lot of repetition or you find it extremely boring, productivity can and concentration can become an issue and can lead to employee discouragement. Employers could counteract this by introducing game tables into their workplace. Game tables can greatly improve people’s mindsets, make them happier and even make them more energised. Not only is this greatly needed in an office environment but it has also been proven that ‘employees in a good mood are 12% more productive’ which will also benefit the employer. This can lead to improved creative thinking.
Stress Reliever and Mental Wellbeing
Stress is often very widespread in the workplace, and is even more common when people feel as though they don’t have friends or a support network as they can feel isolated. This can lead people to become overwhelmed and unhappy in their job and even begin to dread going in. Stress is a real issue for both employees and employers may lead employees to quit or lessen their hours and / or become less productive.
Games tables (e.g. a ping pong table) have been shown to improve concentration and alertness as well as making you ‘more relaxed’ and ‘happy’ due to the endorphins being released from your brain when you exercise. Since ping pong can also be a team game is helps to build friendships with employees at different levels in the business, therefore helping them feel less isolated as they will feel able to talk to their peers as well as their bosses. Therefore, greatly reducing stress overall and is linked to improving / helping people with dementia.
Dr Daniel Amen, American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, and a Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist, believes that ping pong is the best brain sport helping with Alzheimer’s and the treatment of Dementia. Ping Pong can also help with their hand-eye coordination and mental alertness.
Bounce Alzheimer’s Therapy (BAT) is a specific charity that provides specialist table tennis therapies to care homes, medical settings and other health organisations due to the direct benefits of ping pong for improving the following:
- Hand-Eye Coordination
- Fine Motor Skills
- Upper Body Strength
- Cognitive Function
- Blood Flow to the Brain
Staff/ Brand Loyalty
Employee morale is extremely important aspect to your business, it can completely change how well your organization succeeds or plummets. The cost of replacing staff or repairing the damage done by bad publicity for disgruntled current and previous employees can be expensive.
It has been proven that employees with a higher morale and more positive attitude towards their job are more productive whilst in the workplace. However, employees with bad morale reduce productivity in the workplace which can damage your business.
Now you’re probably wondering what’s the best way to do this? You don’t want to spend lots of money, or spend all your time trying to do this right? An easy way on boosting morale is adding a games table to the workplace. This boosts and will replenish your employees energy levels as they’re not constantly stuck staring at computer screens all day. It encourages them to socialize with one another and have a bit of healthy competition to lighten the mood of constant deadlines to meet.
One simple games table all help boost morale within your company dramatically. Once the morale is boosted within the company employees are more likely to promote the business to their friends and family which can result in your company having a higher reputation.
Fun with colleagues
A Games table such as billiards can create healthy competition between employees. You could introduce a pool competition or an air hockey competition for employees.
Not only does it bring competition whilst playing but it also reflects on their work too as they try to compete on who can get the most done or come up with the best ideas. It also encourages employees to socialize with one another. This helps employees create new friendships and bonds between one another. This relieves stress and helps them re-energize themselves which can boost their productivity further. This also creates an opening for people to bounce ideas off one another and to help form or improve their ideas and creative thinking.
Fitness and Obesity
With the number of office based positions increasing and employees feeling stressed and unhappy at work, obesity is rising. A study by the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found a link between career types, working environments and obesity.
Believe it or not, the introduction of a ping pong table or air hockey table that employees can use on their breaks can help with employee fitness levels and weight management. The average person can burn 272 calories per hour.
There are numerous benefits to creating a games area for employees to utilize in the workplace during breaks. From an employer perspective, you could increase staff morale, productivity, retention and loyalty and from an employees perspective, they can expect to gain friends, health, fitness, loyalty and happiness.
This article was from the winner of our 2017 scholarship competition.