Workers should play online video games with each other to 'break the ice' before returning to the office after lockdown, psychologists say.
Hooking up for the contests could help rebuild social skills and get banter flowing before staff meet again face-to-face.
Psychologist Emma Kenny said online gaming could offer a much-needed way to build back confidence, refresh our soft social skills and foster our sense of community'.
Xbox UK has produced a guide suggesting games workers should play and video showing how to hook up laptops and PCs.
With research showing 91% of Brits plan to continue online meetings alongside real ones post-pandemic, Emma said gaming could provide a vital connection.
"The last 12 months have fundamentally changed how people communicate with technology providing an essential lifeline to family and friends,'' she said.
"Games can serve many purposes, especially in the workplace.
"If you’re looking to bond with a new co-worker you’re yet to meet jumping into Among Us offers an easy icebreaker.
"A battle within Minecraft Dungeons can aid teamwork.
"You can even host meetings whilst getting a round in in Golf With Your Friends.
"Gaming is easy, accessible and fun for all and can provide a much-needed way for people to build back confidence, refresh our soft social skills and foster our sense of community as we ready ourselves for life beyond lockdown.''
According to a survey of 2,000 Brits by Perspectus Global, six in 10 hooked up online to play games with friends and family during lockdown.
More than three quarters think online gaming is a good way to bond and make connections with people they cannot see face-to-face.
Seven in 10 believe it could provide the best way to break the ice with colleagues before returning to the office full-time.
More than half reckon online gaming would strengthen existing friendships and open up the chance to make new ones.
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