Entertainment in the office: Pros and Cons

    Recently, there was an interesting study on the topic of the ideal workplace of an IT specialist, and many respondents spoke about their desire to play more sports and actively relax in the office. We decided to look at this issue from different angles.

    It's no secret that at the moment in many countries, including Russia, the job market in IT is dictated by applicants. It is very difficult to find a good specialist, therefore, to attract employees, employers not only pay them good salaries, but also put a lot of effort into creating an office environment that is comfortable for work. However, there are managers who take a “serious” approach to work and do not approve of massage and game rooms in the office.

    So who is still right, those who believe that work is the place where a person first of all receives money, and therefore should be focused on the result and not be distracted by toys or adherents to improve the office environment, who believe that without PlayStation, foosball and free soda machine productive work impossible?

    Consider the pros and cons. Let's start with the arguments of the opponents of a large number of corporate “goodies”.


    First of all, let's talk about active ways to relax in the office. Indeed, the work of any specialist, one way or another connected with IT, can hardly be called mobile, so the periodic desire to stretch oneself is quite understandable. There are a lot of options for sports pastime right in the office lately: here are table tennis tables, horizontal bars, punching bags and pears, and games like table hockey and football, which also favor movement.

    Often, especially in the case of a company with a small office, it is quite difficult to place a sports corner so that the noise that is inevitable when a pear is “beaten” or table football and ping-pong tournaments does not interfere with other employees. Of course, the main sources of noise are loud conversations or phone calls of colleagues on the open space, but if there is a boxing bag behind the wall of your office that beats 10 strong programmers in turn, it will not be easy to focus on work.

    Another narrow point, especially in large men's groups, is the lack of changing rooms and showers. And the truth is, not every office with a pear and horizontal bar hangs at the same time and has showers and changing rooms. And if there is, then, we will be honest, not every employee uses all this good after playing sports. With all the odors arising from here .

    Video games, although devoid of the mentioned drawbacks, have their drawbacks, the main of which can be called the fact that they are addictive. To play for 30-40 minutes, and then continue to work - it’s damn difficult for advertising agencies and other representatives of the “creative class” not to speak there.

    If we take into account all of the above, it becomes clear that taking care of employees so that the workflow is not affected, and the atmosphere of friendship and positive reigned in the office, is quite difficult. Maybe it’s not enough to bother with this at all and it will be quite simple for a true professional to the extent of a comfortable office, which is convenient to get to, tea / coffee and everything really necessary for work?

    This position is held by Denis Kortunov (co-founder of Turbomilk), that’s what he said not so long ago in an interview with Hopes & Fears (by the way, we recommend reading it - a very strong thing):

    We still tried to kiss each employee in the ass, so that, God forbid, he would not be bored, so that no one would ever say a rude word to him. Now I understand that it is necessary to take a person and dismiss him if he is bumbling.


    At the same time, everyone knows that you can’t work without interruptions - productivity in this case falls below the plinth and there is no need to talk about any positive results in this situation.

    Therefore, the leaders of many companies pay much attention to the organization of leisure for their employees. One of the most popular ways to get away from work is playing, so in the offices of thousands of companies around the world both individual sports equipment or games and entire game rooms began to appear, in which dozens of people can hang at the same time. At the same time, in order to organize something like this, you do not need to be Google or Microsoft and have similar resources. This is clearly illustrated by the example of small and medium-sized companies such as Motley Fool, in whose game room there are consoles, board games and even real gaming machines ( Robotron is especially popular ). It looks like this ( another photo of the office):

    Motley Fool HR Director Lee Burbage said in a conversation with PCWorld that the company does not have any special policies that limit the time that employees can spend in the games room.

    People need a break. If you sit at a table and work all day, then productivity decreases - this is proved by research.

    According to Burbage, the game room affects productivity only positively, and the “culture of trust and individual responsibility” helps to avoid problems when someone may prefer to work on machines. Perhaps you can’t say better.

    Like we have

    Ksenia Gerasimova, executive director of the company, tells about how the situation is with the organization of a comfortable office space and what opportunities for relaxation, not leaving the workplace, at UIDG:

    One of the specific features of our children’s work is the large amount of information that employees need to digest every day - the same usability testing involves communicating with respondents, and such sessions per working day can be 4 and 6 and 8. So the ability to switch is simply necessary , and it's not about a cooler with cookies in the kitchen. In our office, there are passive rest areas where you can sit with a laptop, just hang around without thinking or even lie down and sleep for half an hour or an hour (we have several employees for whom lunch is simply a must for a good job).

    For a more energetic relaxation there is a table for table football, table hockey a small punching bag. Yes, this is fraught with a certain noise - some girls didn’t really like when the guys played table hockey. The problem was elegantly solved by the donated female part of the team on March 8 with a juicer, which is also quite noisy. Now, when the table hockey competitions begin, those who are bothering can safely go and make themselves an orange fresh. But seriously, everything here is decided by common sense and, so to speak, a social contract - if you ask to behave more quietly, then no one will play, of course.


    As usual, the truth is somewhere in between - and it’s impossible without rest, but an excessive focus on entertainment can hurt. What about your company? How do you relax at work?

    Only registered users can participate in the survey. Please come in.

    How do you prefer to relax in the office?

    • 60.7% Procrastinating on the Internet 354
    • 23.1% We have ping-pong-foosball / hockey-something else like that 135
    • 16.1% I like physical activity - hang on the horizontal bar, beat a pear 94
    • 32.9% Talking with colleagues at the cooler or in the kitchen 192
    • 44.4% I leave the office to breathe 259
    • 18.5% None of this - came, worked, and left to meet home resting 108
    • 6.6% I work at home and face opposite problems 39
    • 1.5% Other (I will describe in the comments) 9

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