Miscellaneous

by Mike Masnick




Play Games At Work

from the interesting-idea... dept

John writes in with a link to an interesting article about whether or not people should be allowed to play video games at work. I've argued often enough that companies shouldn't worry about people surfing the internet from work, especially since studies have shown they make up the work. More to the point, though, I think it's more of a drain on productivity when you're working non-stop for many hours without giving your brain a chance to cool off, or work on something different. Providing some sort of break makes sense. It's why most people take little breaks on their own - whether to talk to their neighbor, grab some food, or just stare off into space. So, what about playing video games at work? The writer argues that it's probably better than just having someone snooze off - on the assumption they're going to unproductive during those breaks anyway. He even argues that it encourages skills that are useful for productivity (though, that may depend on the person's job). Of course, one issue with games is that they can become somewhat addictive, and tough to stop playing. However, it comes back to the same thing I've said before: if they're getting their work done, it shouldn't be an issue if they're occasionally taking a little break. It's when they're abusing the system, and not getting their work done that it becomes a problem. Personally, I'd prefer not to play video games during work, because video games tend to require my full attention. I've found that when I take other breaks my brain keeps working on certain problems - and sometimes comes up with the answer during those "productivity breaks". If I were playing a game (depending on the game), I'm not sure I'd be able to really be doing that kind of thinking.

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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 3 Mar 2006 @ 6:04am

    Are we forgetting what we get paid for???

    I have read all of your posts and am just wondering... in your offer letter from the company, or during the interview, did any one say or was it written that part of your salary would go back to the company to support the need for additional firewalls, IT support staff (to fix your machine when you get hit with a load of spyware or a virus) or just because you were taking more than the aloted 2x15 min breaks per day?
    I do not think so. I am in virginia, and the state law says that the employer only has to give you a 1/2 hour lunch, there is no requirment for 2x15 minute breaks in this state, yet people complain that they only get 2 15 min breaks a day.. they are getting paid to do nothing for 30 minutes a day.. lets do some math:

    The average System Admin in my area makes $46k a year. That comes out to $22.11 an hour, for this exercise we will say it is an even $22.

    are you willing, say when it is time to do taxes to reimburse your company for 120 hours that you spent playing games, surfing the internet, reading this article... etc. This comes out to the company paying you an average of $2640 a year for you to partake in these activities.

    That is probably more than most of you will get in a tax return.

    Seeing how I have been on both sides of the fence, I worked in a call center for 3 years, then was a manager and now I am a network administrator, I can honestly say, that there is no need to play games at work. Instead why arent you studing for your next certification exam, I know there is a least one exam out there in the IT world that you do not have. Better yet, way not be an adult about it, and go ask your manager if there is anything that he/she needs help with?

    Anyways I am done now. I think I have made my point.

    Chuck

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