If you’re bored at work, you no longer need to furtively seek distraction in games—you can play games with your coworkers right within Microsoft Teams with the new Games for Work app.
Yes, a “Games for Work app.” For Microsoft Teams. It may seem counterintuitive, but Microsoft Casual Games cited a BYU study that found that “teams who played short video games together were 20 percent more productive than those who participated in more traditional team-building activities.”
Even more interesting, all of the games available within the app are multiplayer, even those that have traditionally been single-player by design: Solitaire, for instance. Wordament, Minesweeper, and IceBreakers—a game where players are asked to make choices to foster conversation—are all included, with options for two players to a whopping 250 players. But there’s an odd catch: The Games for Work app isn’t available for consumer implementations of Microsoft Teams, just corporations and education customers.
Microsoft also said that users can use apps like Polly, a fun poll-taking app, and Kahoot!, a similar collaborative game, to mix in fun with productivity, too. Microsoft said it will be working with its partners in 2023 to add additional games to the Games for Work app within Teams. You can also send in additional ideas for new games, provided they’re rated “E”(for “Everyone”) and also ad-free.
So if a CEO like Elon Musk wants to encourage Twitter users to commit to “extremely hardcore” work over long hours, maybe he can incorporate a group round of Minesweeper: If they go “boom,” they’re fired!