Why a Pinball Machine is Perfect for Game Rooms
Pinball - The better way to take a break
Pinball has become increasingly popular within corporate game rooms over the past few years due to several factors. They stimulate all the senses in a way that video games simply can't. Pinball provides a complex experience of not only audial and visual input, but also the tactile stimulus of a shiny steel ball interacting with a variety of mechanical devices that activates areas of the brain that go dormant after prolonged periods of computer-screen focused work.
Work Hard and Play Hard - It Really Works
Want to know the secret recipe for healthy, happy and productive employees? Playtime.
Companies that create a sense of fun and playfulness at work see productivity, employee retention and workplace satisfaction improve dramatically. From neon slides, climbing walls and pinball machines to work outings and volleyball tournaments, companies like Google, Skype and LinkedIn have all embraced the notion that all work and no play makes for a dull and less productive average employee. Here are five reasons to follow their lead:
Less stress = more productivity
Your company might not have room for a fully-fledged game room dedicated to play, but even a single pinball machine in the corner of an office will create a playful tone and encourage employees to de-stress with a quick game at break times. Playing games has been proven to lower stress levels by relieving pressure and releasing endorphins and serotonin. All this leads to greater competence and increased productivity.
More and more companies want to improve their work culture and are seeing great results from encouraging this kind of group play between colleagues. I know from personal experience that just 15 minutes of pinball or a couple of rounds of ping pong in the middle of a busy working day can help people to take the edge off the stress and deal effectively with work challenges.
Creative Flow and Brain Fodder
Playing games is literally food for thought. It actually makes you more clever and creative. It stimulates the mind and can provide cognitive insight and discovery. With pinball, both your left and right brain are engaged, and there is evidence from animal studies that engaged play opens new neural connections in the brain: "All sorts of creative new connections are made when you're playing that otherwise would never be made," says Stuart Brown, founder of the National Institute for Play, a science-based organization that is dedicated to unlocking human potential through play in all stages of life. Play creates a state of 'flow' which means that the censoring of thoughts and psychological barriers are dropped, leading to an increase in creative ideas and innovation.
Offset the dangers of sitting
We all know the dangers of a desk job: strain injury, back problems, headaches. New research reveals that a sedentary lifestyle can take years off your life and put you at greater risk of disease. Games that get you out of your chair and moving about at intervals throughout the day might actually add years to your life. Recommendations suggest that you should get up and move for at least five minutes in every hour.
Bonding and connectivity
Plato believed, "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation." And it's true that there is something about playing a game with someone that transcends the usual boundaries of verbal etiquette and gets straight to the heart of things. Creative and physical play accelerates human bonding and encourages connectivity between colleagues and clients. Numerous studies reveal that having friends at work is a bigger incentive for staying than salary, and that clients are loyal to companies they have good relationships with.
The healing power of laughter
Playfulness creates laughter, and laughter makes us playful, happier and more open. In this state of mind, imagination, deep enjoyment, physical, and emotional well-being and connectivity are all present.
According to a recent study, a solid belly laugh releases a surge of heart-healthy biological triggers: Endorphins activate receptors on the surface of our blood vessels which in turn release nitric oxide. Widening blood vessels, and increasing blood flow, this lessens inflammation, reduces the formation of cholesterol plaque and helps prevent heart disease.
So, invest in a game room pinball machine, throw some board games on the board room table, organize some silly activities and give people permission to play and have fun. It could transform your work culture, improve the health of your employees and be very good for your business' bottom line.
Taken from Adam Beresford's article Why Making the Workplace a Playroom is Worth It
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