COVID-strained auditor general’s office played online games during work hours
Frigon said only 17 of 567 employees were invited to the Zoom puzzle game, which was played during working hours
Managers in Auditor General Karen Hogan’s office spent staff time playing online puzzle games as a “team-building activity,” according to Blacklock’s Reporter , which said officials confirmed the report.
Blacklock’s said Hogan had complained to MPs her office was under “tremendous challenges” due to COVID and budget constraints.
“This was not an office-wide activity,” said Vincent Frigon, spokesperson for Hogan. “It was a team-building activity for one team.”
Frigon said only 17 of 567 employees were invited to the Zoom puzzle game, which was played during working hours.
“Escape games are designed to have participants work together to complete a mission,” said Frigon. “Their value as a team-building tool is well established. They develop and enhance teamwork, collaborative problem solving and communications skills.
“A virtual escape room is a web-based experience,” he explained. “Participants join the room via the platform and work together in a fixed amount of time to gather the information needed to complete specific steps in a set order to exit the room before the clock runs out.”
Hogan had said in an Oct. 20, 2020 report to Parliament that her office was stretched thin with pandemic safety precautions and an $87.6 million budget. “The pandemic has presented tremendous challenges to our operations,” Hogan wrote in a Departmental Results Report.
“Our staff has been busy reimagining the ‘new normal’ of our audit work, acquiring new tools and exploring new formats for engaging and communicating with staff at a distance and developing new ways to support learning,” wrote Hogan. The report did not mention online gaming, Blacklock’s said.