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Survey Finds Execs Gaming On Office Time

Survey Finds Execs Gaming On Office Time

September 4, 2007 | By Leigh Alexander

September 4, 2007 | By Leigh Alexander
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More: Console/PC

PopCap Games has unveiled the results of a survey targeting "white collar" workers who play casual games -- specifically, the 40 percent of the 7,102 consumers surveyed who were identified as such, employed in management, executive management, sales, accounting, medical, technical, consulting or administrative capacities. PopCap says that, based on an estimate of the casual market at about 200 million consumers, as many as 80 million of these white collar workers play casual games.

The survey found that, while white collar workers' consumption of casual games at home mirrored the overall casual gamer audience as PopCap pegged in a broad-ranging survey a year ago, nearly a quarter (24 percent) of white collar workers play casual games at work, with 35 percent of CEOs, CFOs and other senior executives confessing to casual gaming on office time.

Of those who admitted playing at work, 14 percent said they had played casual games during business meetings or conference calls, with about two thirds (65 percent) of those saying they did so at least once a month. 61 percent said they play during lunch or other official break periods, while 52 percent said they play "during my work day, when I need a short break."

Smaller percentages play either before or after work begins; 19 percent said they play "at the end of my work day, to unwind," and 11 percent said they play "at the beginning of my work day before I get started."

Additionally, those who indicated that they played during work hours said they do so with considerable frequency; 53 percent said they play at work at least once a day, while 79 percent play multiple times a week or more. 84 percent of these play sessions lasted between 15 minutes and an hour on average, while longer sessions were in the minority at 11 percent. Moreover, respondents who identified themselves as "senior executives" (about 8 percent) indicated a slightly higher frequency of play across the board.

Those who play on office time indicated they get a positive boost from the casual playtime; 84 percent said they felt "more relaxed and less stressed out" after a short game break at the office, and 52 percent said they felt more confident, more energetic, more productive and/or more mentally focused.

98 percent said they played casual games at home and 24 percent said they played during work hours. Of all white collar casual gamers, 65 percent indicated they earn $50,000 or more in annual income (compared to 53 percent of casual game players overall), 22 percent said they earned $100,000 or more per year, and 58 percent indicated they had a college degree (compared to 46 percent). 91 percent of white collar gamers are age 30 or older, 68 percent are 40 or older, and 39 percent are 50 or older.

"It's not surprising that today's business professionals are casual video game users," said Carly Drum, a recognized expert on workplace issues and Managing Director of Drum Associates, a leading executive recruitment firm. "The face of today's executive workforce is definitely changing: we're seeing employees who are much more technologically savvy and familiar with all forms of new media from social networking to blogging and beyond. So, it's natural that some business executives would also look to casual video games that they can play on their PC, mobile phone or BlackBerry during a work break, as a way to quickly relax and recharge their batteries, so to speak."

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