In context: What’s the best way to improve worker productivity? If you’re Amazon, you simply turn mundane day-to-day work tasks into something more interesting and “gamified.” Over the past few years, Amazon has been implementing small game monitors at individual workstations. The monitors can display work-related in-house titles like MissionRacer, Dragon Duel, and PicksInSpace (all in-house titles).
This productivity-boosting strategy can make the workday a little less tedious for Amazon’s employees, which in turn encourages them to work harder for longer. So far, the program seems to have been a success, because Amazon is rolling it out to 20 additional states as part of a “major expansion.“
The program is known as “FC Games,” and participation can lead to additional rewards for workers. By playing the games, employees can earn a digital currency that can be used for virtual goods (we don’t have details on that, however). Some workers have even leveraged their success in the games into tangible real-world benefits, such as SwagBucks, which can be used at the company store to snag clothing and other goodies.
Amazon says playing the games is not mandatory. The program is and will remain completely optional, and employees can even play “anonymously” if they’d prefer — the choice is theirs, the company claims.
The games in question aren’t “particularly good,” one worker says, but they do offer a break from the monotony of longer shifts, and the element of competition (the games have built-in leaderboards) can be entertaining to some.
All in all, it’s not a bad idea on Amazon’s part. Gamification is already a widely-accepted way to make a tedious task a little more tolerable, and so long as it remains optional, it’s unlikely that it’ll cause many problems across the company’s operations.