Anyone that grew up in the infancy of the internet remembers playing countless hours of Minesweeper and Solitaire — and now Microsoft is betting that they can help improve virtual meetings.
This week, Microsoft unveiled its free Games for Work app via Microsoft Teams. Through the app, users of Teams can play a variety of multiplayer games with coworkers during online meetings.
All four games are multiplayer and include the classics, as well as question prompt game IceBreakers and Wordament, a word challenge game.
One of the biggest concerns in the modern workplace is a lack of camaraderie. With workers often operating in various regions and time zones, watercooler talk simply can’t happen.
However, Microsoft hopes that through its new gaming app, employees are more likely to engage with each other, nurture connections and create a closer culture.
“You have to realize you’re playing the long game here,” said Jennifer Chatman, professor of management at the Berkeley Haas School of Business. “Not allowing any time for people to connect could hurt you in small ways in the long run. People may never feel comfortable enough to speak up in meetings.”