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How gamification will influence workplaces

Discover how gamification enables a social atmosphere within your office, while alleviating stress at work and increasing productivity
Jeff Fermin

/ Last updated on 5th November 2017

A set of cartoon characters figures representing playing games in the workplace.

A recent survey conducted in the United States found that 8 out of 10 employees are stressed at work. Take time to truly reflect on that; 80% of the American workforce is having trouble finding constant happiness within their current workplace. It’s shocking to think that the majority of people will have worked from college on to obtain a career within their industry, only to feel dissatisfied when they reach their desired position.

Related: 10 Amazing ways gamification can improve your business

So, how are companies dealing with employees being stressed at work?  Well, enterprises are experimenting with gamification to motivate their employees. In fact, it’s predicted that over 70% of Global 2000 companies will have at least one gamified platform that will be used for employees. In case you aren’t familiar with the term, gamification is the use of game-thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context to engage users and/or solve problems.

Companies have applied gamification within their apps or websites as a way to engage customers with their brand or product. Allowing customers to earn points, rewards, and most importantly recognition within online communities.

Using game dynamics, companies will be able to motivate their employees. More importantly, employees will be able to have some fun at work. That being said, gamification will be able to influence workplaces in a variety of ways. Here are a few:

Gamification will create less stressful environments

No surprise here, when people play games, they find themselves having fun. Now, if a company were to apply game dynamics to certain aspects of an employee’s job…what do you think will happen? That’s right, they’ll have fun doing their job. Gamified work apps will have the ability to motivate people to have a lot of fun doing the jobs that they’ve grown accustomed to.

An excellent small scale example would be a story that I heard from one of the speakers at the gamification summit in San Francisco this past year. The speaker shared a story of how he applied a game dynamic at his first job at a restaurant. He and his colleague would race to see who could wash the most dishes in a set amount of time. The winner would buy drinks that night. So they’d keep tabs throughout the night and speed through their work.

It’s a very simple (boring) task really, but they treated plates as their point system and drinks as their reward. Through this, they were able to do their job more efficiently, and they eventually got praised by their management for being hard workers…when in actuality they were two young men just having fun. So, although I may not have the numbers to back this (yet), I do believe that if employees are having fun at their job (especially while getting recognised),  the work environment will naturally be less stressful.

Social atmosphere

Games naturally bring out a social side to us humans unlike anything else. Sports, board games, video games all allow us to interact with others just for the purpose of having fun. Online computer gaming is quite a phenomenon if you think about it. It’s an act that people usually do in solitude, but within a split second, you can be connected to millions of people playing the same game. All for the sole purpose of working together and accomplishing silly tasks (like killing zombies). Gamification will naturally lead people to have a social atmosphere.

People will be motivated to work together to figure out problems within their workplace. Imagine having people earn points and rewards for doing something as simple as meeting a deadline early? More than that, earning recognition and respect from peers has proven to be even more motivating than any tangible reward.

Intrinsic motivation to complete tasks

Why do you keep going back to playing games? You feel motivated and happy to do so. Gamified apps will create behaviours leading people to feel intrinsically motivated to complete tasks.

Aside from getting work done efficiently, the real benefit to an employee who is intrinsically motivated to complete tasks is that they’ll be happy. Although it may not sound like much, consider that 80% of one of the largest workforces on the planet claim to be stressed at work. If a person is intrinsically motivated to do work, they’ll not only deliver high-quality work but also create a less stressful and social atmosphere through the good vibes that they’ll be providing. People shouldn’t have to feel stressed at work. Gamify the office experience and create a fantastic atmosphere around your office. What are your thoughts on gamification? Do you believe it’ll be a highly effective tool to diminish stress at work, or at least influence the work environment?

Related: 5 Logical reasons for playing while at work

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