Level Up | From communication to problem solving - gamers reveal how their hobby makes them better workers

From communication to problem solving - gamers reveal how their hobby makes them better workers

More than 4 in 10 (44%) gamers believe their hobby makes them better workers, with more than half of all UK gamers (57%) saying that they incorporate gaming skills, such as leadership, communication and problem solving into their working day, according to a new study from Currys.

These same skills were listed in the top 10 most in-demand skills for employers in the latest LinkedIn job listing analysis.

LinkedIn’s 2024 analysis of job listings, recruiter messages, and the skills possessed by recent hires found that soft skills reign supreme for UK employers in 2024, comprising most of the top 10 in-demand skills.

Skills that topped the list were communication, customer service, management, leadership, and teamwork. 57% of UK gamers say they have developed some of these skills through playing video games, and regularly apply them to their work.

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But it isn’t just an excuse to play more games, according to Dr Daniel Wheatley, Reader in Business and Labour Economics based in the Department of Management at the University of Birmingham. He said that skills acquired through leisure activities can actually be leveraged in a professional setting.

"We gain skills and experience every day from our leisure activities - 'every day is a school day,’” said Dr Wheatley. “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."

Gaming triggers positive emotions and boosts work productivity

It isn’t just the soft skills refined during playing games which have a positive impact on a person’s performance at work. Playing video games was found in the study to trigger positive emotions. Nearly half of respondents (46%) stated they feel happy when gaming, 43% said that they feel relaxed, while 36% stated they feel excitement.

As a result of the positive impact on mood, 60% of gamers in the study said that taking annual leave to play games makes them more productive at work.

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Dr. Wheatley explains that there is a strong connection between taking breaks to indulge in hobbies and productivity: "All work and no play is unlikely to generate the most positive outcome for employees and employers. Everyone requires breaks from work, reflecting the need for recovery time to avoid negative outcomes including burnout and work-related stress, and associated drops in productivity.

“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."

In the study 39% of gamers said they have taken time off to just play video games.

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