Board games are building teams at tech companies

Gina Halladay | Lehi Free Press

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Bowling leagues, dinner parties, and board game nights are all activities our parents may have participated in many years ago, but they are making a comeback with millennials in the high tech workforce. According to an Inc. Magazine article titled “16 Activities Successful Millennials Do Outside Work,” “We all define ‘success’ differently, but most 20-somethings associate it with happiness, good health, a strong social network and a well-balanced life.”

According to the article, how you spend your downtime plays a huge part in your ability to achieve that well-balanced life. Building a strong social network includes “face to face” social activities like participating in fitness and sporting events, dinner parties, and game playing.

Some Lehi businesses have started to host events to promote social networking and connecting.

At the Jack and Jill bowling lanes, a “merchant” bowling league is starting in the fall that is geared towards networking and team building, according to Steve Stalter, desk manager. “This league offers a great chance for those working in the Lehi area and in the technology world just around the corner to socialize and connect with others and have fun at the same time,” Stalter said. “We are seeing more companies booking ‘team-building’ bowling events,” said Stalter. “It is great to see people connect and have fun.”

Another Lehi business which hosts meetups and activities geared toward “unplugging and playing,” is Gamer’s Inn.  Gamer’s Inn sells board and card games but also hosts events and tournaments for those who want to play against other players in games like Dungeons and Dragons, and Magic the Gathering. They also offer sit-and-play board games like Monopoly, Catan, Ticket to Ride and other strategy games.

“People are looking for the socialization you get from playing games with other people face-to-face,” said Aaron Helm, an employee at Gamer’s Inn. In addition, the shop has started offering painting classes. “Our ‘Paint Night’ is offered once a month and it is starting to take off,” Helm said. “All you have to do is show up, we provide all the supplies and a teacher.”

Smartphone apps like “Meetup” also offer a place for people to post events or to find events to participate in locally.  Meetup offerings include: connecting over coffee, cooking and dining, Utah outdoor enthusiasts, nightscape photography, adventure nerds, running clubs, UX designers lunch, geeks of Utah, moms groups, Utah dodgeball, and Lehi is home to a “Crypto” meetup group for those interested in cryptocurrency.

“Productively utilizing your spare time could help you do your best at work and advance your career,” according to the Inc. Magazine article. “Successful people use their downtime to recharge their batteries.”

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