play with colleagues with Teams

With its new Games for Work application, Microsoft offers Teams users the ability to play remotely with colleagues. The goal ? Recreating social ties despite teleworking, but also increasing productivity…

If hybrid or distance working has many advantages – considerable time savings on transport, less stress, possibility of working at your own pace, etc. – it has the disadvantage of isolating the workers. He It is thus much more difficult to create links between colleagues and to agree to common break times by communicating only in writing. That is why Microsoft added in Teams, its professional messaging solution, a new way of bringing employees together. As the rumor indicated last June, the company now offers to indulge in a few simple and quick games to wait between two meetings. It has designed in-house, via the Microsoft Casual Games division, Xbox Game Studios, the Games for Work function, available free of charge on computer and mobile, which allows quick games of Solitaire, Minesweeper (Minesweeper), IceBreaker and Wordament, which can accommodate between 2 and 250 players. Of course, the goal is not to distract the attention of the collaborators nor to disturb them in their work, but rather to offer them the possibility of playing against each other, in order to bring them together despite the distance. The goal is “build trust, bond and improve team morale.” In short, it’s a kind of alternative to the conversation around the coffee machine.

Games for Work: creating connections despite the distance

Microsoft integrates these four games directly into its video conferencing service. Each of them is designed to strengthen a different part of team building. Thus, IceBreakers makes it easy to get to know others. Players must choose between two propositions – do you prefer pineapple or pepperoni on your pizza? – which can sometimes lead to heated discussions. Minesweeper – a classic! – encourages co-workers to come together to solve problems and achieve their goals quickly, while the Wordament word game promotes good-natured competition. Finally, the timeless Solitaire allows you to help and encourage each other through a multiplayer mode or a spectator mode. These small games were already available internally at Microsoft and are now being extended to the general public. The deployment of Games for Work being in progress, it will surely be necessary to wait a few weeks to take advantage of it, by looking for it in the library of applications integrated into Teams – like OneNote, Power pointWikis, etc.

Such games are not just there to entertain. According to the firm, teams that play together for 45 minutes are 20% more productive than those that opt ​​for other team building activities.“Games foster creativity, collaboration and communication in powerful and unique ways, and we can’t wait to see how the Games for Work app on Microsoft Teams inspires productivity and helps foster connections in the workplace“explains Jill Braff, general manager of integrations and games at Microsoft, in a statement. Teams already integrates other applications aimed at promoting interaction between colleagues, such as Polly, a tool for managing live questions and generating polls, and Kahoot, a team game offering challenges. But be careful not to overdo it!

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