Microsoft is determined to continue improving Teams and make it stand out among other communication apps. After releasing more productivity features recently, it now wants the place to be more than a meeting place for professionals by making it a fun platform. The answer? The new Games for Work app that will allow you to play familiar titles like Solitaire, Minesweeper, and Wordament on Teams.
While the games are only available for enterprise and education customers, the Microsoft Casual Games team who developed the app made some tweaks to allow multiplayer options, making it more engaging between coworkers. Some of the formerly single-player games you can now play with others through the app are Solitaire, Minesweeper, Wordament, and IceBreakers. Interestingly, some games can even cater to 250 players all at once. Microsoft also said every title is E-rated and ad-free, making them safe for work and enjoyable.
While the entrance of games in one of the most well-known productivity communication platforms seems rather odd, Microsoft stresses that it is one of the ways to give workers a short mental rest while at work and an opportunity to bond with other employees.
“Playing games with coworkers has a powerful ability to foster relationships and collaboration,” Microsoft explains in a blog post. “Although some may consider games at work a distraction, the benefits are plentiful. In fact, according to a study by Brigham Young University, teams who played short video games together were 20 percent more productive than those who participated in more traditional team-building activities.”
Microsoft highlighted the importance of a healthy bond and collaboration between employees, which is now of the challenges in this new era of work setup.
“With the move to remote and hybrid work, our social capital has weakened, impacting cross-group collaboration and employee retention,” Microsoft adds. “In fact, over 40 percent of leaders consider building relationships to be the greatest challenge in hybrid or remote environments, according to the Work Trend Index. Games can be an easy way to connect and build trust with our teammates.”
Apart from the addition of the games to the famous communication app, Microsoft also announced other new improvements to Teams. After announcing the Teams Premium, the Redmond company rolled out the call transcription feature on Teams for Android and made adjustments to boost the app’s performance. Earlier this month, Microsoft also revealed that it finally made the Microsoft Teams progressive web app available for Linux users.