Is gaming the secret to work success?

Video games on your iPhone might well be the secret to your success.

When other employees catch a glimpse of William Bauer playing video games instead of working, some think he's wasting time.

But the 24-year-old who helps to head up US-based Royce Leather, his family's accessories business, isn't slacking off.

The five-minute Angry Birds session helps him unwind and provides the kind of passive thinking time he needs to solve problems.

"It reawakens me," said Bauer who typically plays a game on his cell phone during the afternoon lull.

Long work hours - sometimes more than 100 hours per week - make processing information more difficult later in the day, he said, and taking video game breaks helps relax and motivate him, giving him more energy to work into the evening.

Bauer isn't the only one slinging birds via touchscreen at the office.

Many employees are taking their video game hobby to the office, as longer hours and project-based work make it easier to fit in a few minutes of play during the work day.

Science suggests they may be on to something. Psychologists, along with the gamers themselves, say the benefits go beyond fun or amusement.

Many people use gaming to find moments of stress relief throughout the workday, to cope with a boring role or as a way to feel more in control.

Unlike scrolling Facebook or browsing online, the games are fully engaging and even give us the kind of virtual confidence boost that we might not achieve in our day-to-day work.

"Some video games are built to give you a short experience where you can be competent or autonomous," said Chris Ferguson, a psychology professor who researches video games at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida in the US.

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