One year after the pandemic started, businesses are adjusting back to the work-from-home lifestyle that has become the norm in offices worldwide. Even as we are transiting to Phase 3 (Heightened Alert) in Singapore, work-from-home remains the default work arrangement. And so plans for real-life team bonding events would not be possible.
Under such conditions, HR practitioners have been finding new and innovative ways to strengthen team cohesion via a digital setting. One way to do this is playing video games together. Or more specifically, video games created/modified for team bonding.
In an effort to understand how such team bonding experiences can build team chemistry and add some fun to the taxing work-from-home routine, the DollarsAndSense team tried a virtual escape room in the classic video game Minecraft. Here’s what we learnt from the experience.
#1 Video Game Features Can Enhance Some Team Bonding Activities As Compared To Real Life Activities
When playing video games, we can do things that may not be practical or doable in real life. From exploring a huge maze or forest with dangerous traps, swimming underwater for longer periods than an actual human, and shooting your boss with an arrow, video games often can let you do things out of the ordinary.
With such features or mechanics built into games, team bonding can actually be more engaging, or at least provide a different form of engagement, among colleagues. Game features and mechanics can also spice up team bonding events compared to their real-life counterparts.
For example, as compared to real-life escape rooms, the virtual escape Minecraft escape room that we played had game mechanics such as shooting snowballs, swimming underwater and navigating a forest maze, all in different and big rooms. This is as compared to a real-life escape room, where game features and mechanics are often limited to unlocking locks or solving puzzles on papers found in a small room.
#2 All Skill Levels Are Welcome To Play
Don’t be fooled by high-level players making big plays on insanely hard games online. Most games, especially games that that are created to facilitate such team bonding activities, are beginner-friendly or have beginner-friendly levels for everyone to do well in.
Certain employees may also be familiar with such games, and this can be a chance for bosses or managers to assess employee’s skills in guiding, managing and helping less knowledgeable members of the team to play the game. Such employees can also have fun guiding their colleagues in the game, and limitations placed on them may make the game more interesting for them.
Our DollarsAndSense Team had experienced this, with the more experienced gamers in our team having to help out our less experienced bosses with tech support and game guidance at times. Our co-founder, Dinesh, was even playing without a mouse but still contributing to our game, proving to everyone that anyone can play games well.
#3 Playing Video Games From Home Has Its Benefits
With the current pandemic, in-person team bonding events are obviously unviable, even more so if they are large scale ones. However, with video games online, you can even have company-wide online events with hundreds of employees using game servers.
This is just one of many reasons why playing from home has its many benefits now. Having employees enjoy the comfort of home while playing games together can help alleviate the feeling of burnout, especially during slated company hours.
And, unlike normal virtual team bonding events, using video games can make it easier to communicate, unlike the usual voice chats or zoom calls. Controlling avatars, whether 2D or 3D, and moving around game worlds or pinging can allow teams to communicate with each other better, making such team bonding activities more immersive.
Video Games Offer A New Alternative To Team Bonding Activities
Whether by playing vanilla versions of classic games such as Minecraft or Maplestory with colleagues, planned game events such as the virtual escape Minecraft game we played, or even competitive games such as League of Legends (as a word of advice, please don’t), HR managers and companies should consider playing video games as an alternative to team bonding activities.
For us, or me at least, playing Minecraft together was an enjoyable experience that can compare and even exceed how we enjoy real-life escape rooms (which we also played before the safe management measures were tightened). How we went through the rooms and solved puzzles was similar to real-life escape rooms, and the added game mechanics improved the fun aspect of the game, even if we used brute strength as a strategy at times.
We enjoyed playing Minecraft together and would recommend it to any team looking for a virtual team bonding activity to do in P2HA. If you want to try out the Minecraft-inspired virtual escape room game we played together, you can head to the Nullspace website.
Power your business with Digital Business Banking Solutions
OCBC Velocity helps you view all your accounts details, comes integrated with E-Invoicing and cash management capabilities as well as access to our award-winning trade financing solutions. Use OCBC Velocity, your business in your hand.
Join The DollarsAndSense Business Community
For more content that helps entrepreneurs, freelancers, and self-employed individuals and learn to build better businesses, join the DollarsAndSense Business Community on Facebook.