Nowadays, when I say games, most people think about video games. That's ok. Our family likes board games, so when I say games, I mean games in general. Perhaps this is a generational thing? Although I have an app on my phone, it is definitely a "video game" – Clash of Clans. Apps on your phone are more than just games, but many people are engaging in fun distractions like Candy Crush or Fruit Ninja.
When researching this topic, I found many studies that share different statistics around those who enjoy games. In general, however, I would share that the numbers are on the rise for every demographic. It is becoming a huge part of the lives of Gen Y or younger. Apps are really impacting the way a bank operates or the travel industry for sure.
So, knowing that:
- Most people enjoy games;
- Their lives are being impacted in a big way by apps on their phones; and
- There is a potential for these types of distractions to be just that during hours of work...
What could or should be done to recognize this and maybe even take advantage of it? Let's talk about gamifying the workplace.
What is gamifying?
According to the Miriam-Webster definition, Gamify means "the process of adding games or game-like elements to something (such as a task) so as to encourage participation."
So, using the example I know best, a municipal workplace, what could gamification look like? I would argue that some of the current planning that is done mirrors gameplay already. Perhaps the best example would be how traffic engineers design roads and traffic lights to maximize vehicle movement efficiency.