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UK gamers credit video gaming for honed workplace skills
Tue, 2nd Apr 2024

According to a recent study, 44% of UK gamers believe that playing video games can significantly refine their workplace skills. The study, conducted by Currys, highlighted that more than half (57%) of the participating gamers credibly incorporate their gaming skills into their daily work routine. This intersectionality is worthy of attention as these skills, including communication, problem-solving, and leadership, align with the top 10 competencies sought after by employers, as evidenced by a 2024 LinkedIn job listing analysis.

According to LinkedIn's scrutiny of job listings, recruiter messages, and skills seen in recent hires, soft skills are considered most invaluable. Skills like communication, customer service, management, leadership, and teamwork were high on the list. Interestingly, 57% of the participating UK gamers recognised and admitted to developing these exact skills through their gaming experiences, regularly applying them at work.

Business and labour economics expert Dr Daniel Wheatley, a Reader in the Department of Management at the University of Birmingham, reflected on these findings, validating the interpretation that skills gained from video gaming can indeed be utilised in a professional setting.

Dr Wheatley said, "We gain skills and experience every day from our leisure activities; every day is a school day. Gaming is one of those hobbies that requires several skills, including problem-solving, resource and time management, communication, hand-eye coordination, and more. This has been recognised by employers in some cases with the 'gamification' of training and work tasks present in some industries and organisations."

It is not just cognitive and leadership skills that benefit the workplace. The study also found that nearly half of the respondents (46%) feel happy while playing, 43% feel relaxed, and 36% experience excitement. These positive emotions duly contribute to individual productivity, as 60% of gamers reported that taking annual leave to play games increased their productivity at work.

Dr Wheatley further commented on the correlation between indulging in hobbies and work productivity. Stressing the requirement of taking breaks from work to avoid burnout or work-related stress, he highlighted how engaging in hobbies enables employees to achieve the necessary mental and physical breaks and leads to greater productivity during working time. 39% of the gamers participating in the said study revealed that they had taken time off just to play video games.

“Engaging in hobbies can often allow the employee to achieve a desired level of mental and physical separation from the demands of their job, and this has the potential to provide the employee with more effective recovery, enabling greater productivity during working time," said Dr Wheatley.

The intersectionality between gaming and work productivity is a new arena which might merit further exploration. As the gaming industry is concurrently on the rise, potential benefits can be gleaned, especially for the Human Resources sectors aiming to enhance worker productivity and skill set.