De-Stress with non-Tech Games

jenga game tower in action

jenga game tower in action

As a scrum master I watch my teams all day working hard and I’m always looking for ways to De-Stress the teams.  I like non-tech games to help give the teams a break.  The latest game I have introduced is Jenga for only around $10.  It is a nice little game that does not take up much space on a conference table.  It has become quite a hit among the developers.

Why non-tech verse video game competitions?  Here is my theory: by incorporating games of skill that are not tech based the dev team’s mind and body get a break from staring at code all day. They also keep the team members’ minds sharp and fresh. Physical games give a person the opportunity to:

  • Physically interact with an object and not just keyboard or a screen
  • The games offer different shapes and textures giving their hand a break from over work from being in the same orientation all day
  • In the case of Jenga, it has a 3D affect and you have to think in multi-inputs thereby keeping the mind fresh by looking at different puzzles
  • it gets people away from the computer screen in a time when even when we take a break, we are looking at our cell phones
  • Simple games only take 5 to 10 minutes to play and they are entertaining.
  • It creates an opportunity for people to interact outside coding and problem solving.  Many times there are a few people watching and commenting as two people are playing
  • helps create team bonding
  • encourages soft skill development
  • plus it is fun

Here are some supporting articles:

8. BREAKS KEEP YOUR EYES HAPPY AND HEALTHY…If you have one of those jobs where you’re constantly staring at that computer screen, then you run the risk of suffering from computer vision syndrome. CVS can result in blurred vision, headaches, eye strain, and even pain in the neck and shoulders. Taking your eyes away from your computer (phone and tablet, too) every two hours for 15 minutes, and looking into the distance every 20 minutes of computer use for 20 seconds, will help keep your eyes, head, and neck feeling awesome.

Here is another quote from this article

A brain that never stops and continues to pile on more and more thoughts and concerns is just setting itself up for a disaster. According to the American Psychology Association, allowing yourself to step away, recharge, and truly relax has a major effect on lowering stress. Breaks are simply the best way to prevent work burnout.

I’m hoping to set up some brackets in the near future to get more people playing and interacting.

One note about jenga on a conference table is that when the pieces fall they do make some noise.  In an open concept work environment, some people might get startled.

In work environments where the weather is nice give my Badminton idea a chance.
http://www.gregmester.com/badminton-retrospective-and-team-building/

Have Fun and Happy Coding,

Greg