PLAYING on the Xbox and being paid for it sounds too good to be true.
But that’s exactly what one Portsmouth firm is doing for its workers.
Staff at marketing firm Vertical Leap in the city’s Historic Dockyard can take a break from their desks and pick up the console controller any time they feel like it.
And since the scheme was introduced, research conducted by bosses found 72 per cent of staff who used the console felt less stressed and 80 per cent said they were happier.
Nick Bush, content writer at Vertical Leap, which employs around 50 people, said: ‘As with any job, there are good days and bad days.
‘If nothing is going my way and I need to let off some steam or take my mind off the task at hand, there’s nothing better than spending 20 minutes or so playing a game of Fifa, or having a virtual shoot out with a coworker.
‘It’s a great way to socialise with other colleagues who you wouldn’t ordinarily get a chance to chat with.
‘The Xbox is the new water cooler in many ways.
‘Before any News readers get too jealous, it’s worth noting that we still have to make up all the time that we spend playing Xbox – if I spend three hours gaming, I’ll be staying three hours later.’
Web developer Alexander De Sousa said: ‘I’ve got to know so many more people in the company by playing Fifa with them.
‘Playing Fifa on the Xbox encouraged us to start a five-a-side football team, we now play regularly outside of work.
‘Since playing Fifa on the Xbox we started playing five-a-side and I have lost just over a stone in weight.’
Alex Robertson, head of social media, added: ‘We’re quite a competitive bunch here and having the Xbox here adds an extra great sense of community between the departments.’
Chief executive officer and managing director at Vertical Leap Matt Hopkins bought the console to give his employees some much needed down-time at work.
He said: ‘At times, our jobs can be very stressful.
‘I thought that introducing something to relieve the pressure of deadlines and demands would achieve better results and create a nicer atmosphere in the office.
‘I got the idea for the Xbox after reading about the benefits of video gaming online.
‘I was intending to evaluate whether or not the console had helped my employees in the future.
‘After seeing the results, I’m confident that introducing the Xbox was definitely the right decision.’