Will a Ping Pong table increase your productivity?
Here at the 10collective offices, we’ve had a few fresh faces this year. There have been a few new staff (myself included) but also a brand new Ping Pong table smack bang in the middle of our office. Now this isn’t an artistic centrepiece à la Max and Karston from The Block, but a shiny new toy that everyone wants to play with. But the question is; what is this doing to our productivity in the office?
First of all, let’s get an idea of how long we’re spending with paddle in hand. Luckily, we’ve already been recording our games; the iPhone app Pong Madness is a handy little tool that can record results and even provide a live leaderboard for the office! What we’ve learned from this (apart from the fact that I’m terrible at Ping Pong), is that we’re playing around 5 games each a day each, at an average time of 8 minutes per game. After I furiously punch numbers into a calculator, we’re looking at over 3 hours of Pong per day.
So where could we recoup this lost time?
The first thing that comes to mind is openness and collaboration. Recruitment is a business of meeting and talking to people all day, every day. Constantly talking to each other about the great Ruby on Rails developer we just met makes it easier to think of someone when other businesses come to us for names.
Secondly, the competition it inspires in the office has got to be a good thing. After all, who wants to be just friends with your co-worker when you can hunt them down and overtake them on the Pong Madness leaderboard?
Lastly, we’ve all heard that a happy worker is a productive worker. This has to be where the Ping Pong table provides the most value to the office. Without the Ping Pong table, a bored worker can waste hours on Reddit reading highbrow commentary such as ‘would you rather carry Peter Dinklage on your back all day, or push Kevin Spacey in a wheelbarrow?’. But nowadays in the 10collective office, procrastinating on the Internet is an occasional experience (and the only things we’re watching are videos like “OMG Craziest Ping Pong rally EVER”).
So our completely non-scientific analysis says that the Ping-Pong table is a good tool for injecting a bit of healthy competition and collaboration into the office. The 3 hours that we’re losing each day are more than made up by the fact that we’re more efficient and motivated employees.
Note: The one time that the Ping Pong table did not boost morale was when we decided to try ‘Sting Pong’. DO NOT PLAY STING PONG– NO GOOD WILL COME OF IT!