With the rise in coworking and the ability to work remotely companies now are being forced to reevaluate their spaces and environment maybe asking ‘Is it an attractive or welcoming place for the people that work there?’ Employee expectation levels are now quite high, millennials are now expecting environments which support a number of working methods such as co-working, funky break out areas and shared meeting points and of course, games.
The introduction of games rooms into offices are a result of the dot.com boom, with the staff at Google and other tech companies looking like they had more fun at work than we do on a weekend. The games room became a statement about the company saying to the world ‘hey we’re cool, look how much fun we're having at work’. This ripple effect saw a rise in arcade games, ping pong tables, pool tables all being brought in to the workplace and offices all over the world.
There are a few debates about the games room it must be taken into consideration that not everyone wants to play whilst at work. Some people value privacy and may be more inclined to find a quiet spot to read or even listen to or play music?
So is the games room an outdated concept? In a nutshell, no. Technology today allows us now to employ working methods such as ‘agile working’ and ‘co-working’ these methods were not necessarily embraced during the dot-com boom. What we are seeing now is a rise in lounge areas with sofas, food prep areas and bars. Bring these types of games within these lounge areas creates a welcoming, fun and relaxing atmosphere.
If, however, you do decide to create a dedicated games room, it’s obviously important to think about the location as we all know they can be noisy; it would be counterproductive to allow staff to let off steam to the detriment of the rest of your workforce.
There has been a rise of AR (Augmented Reality) and VR (Virtual Reality) games which of course would have less of an acoustic impact on those nearby especially as headphones can be utilised. Unless, of course, you have (like we do in our office) a vocal gamer who finds it hard to restrain from shouting when in ‘flight’ mode. Interestingly it has been said that VR games are not usually popular among hi-tech companies it seems coders and developers prefer more low tech activities such as ping pong and table football.