• Dan Drummond

Play Games at Work. Seriously.

Coffee. Laptop. Wifi. Pac-Man!

These four things are the essentials of any company that's looking to stay motivated, engaged and productive. The first three things most people get. Coffee is a staple in any work environment. It's not just the caffeine that makes coffee so wonderful, but coffee brings people together. Whether it's at a cafe or in the break room, coffee is - during office hours - the liquid convener.

Of course, most of us working in corporate, association or non-profit environments need computers need do our jobs. And it goes without saying that the wifi connection is as important as electricity and water in sustaining modern human existence.

But Pac-Man?

At the WeWork where Commonwealth Public Affairs has set up shop there is a game console that features multiple games, with Pac-Man being one of my favorites. There is also Frogger and Donkey Kong, among others. In addition, they have board games on a table that anyone can play. These are classics like Connect Four, Operation and for those who want to really go after their co-work space colleague, Battleship!

These games aren't time wasters. They are creative re-connectors. Playing Frogger or getting in a a competitive game of Monopoly will help you forget about your stresses and deadlines for a moment. And, as research is showing, playing games actually makes you more productive. My teenage boys tell me this, too.

I also think that playing games helps you become more creative and innovative. For instance, in Pac-Man, you need to figure out how to not get eaten by ghosts or in Battleship, you need to look at the board below you and see where your misses are so you can sink your opponents ships.

Put another way, taking a break during the workday and playing a game is way for you to recharge the creative juices. And if playing a game isn't your thing, take a break with a puzzle or some other activity that keeps the mind engaged.

The bottom line is this: when we were all children we learned through play. It's where we found our spark, our interests and ourselves. It should be the same at our work where we can take a moment, play a game and rekindle our creative spirits.


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