Leave it to Amazon to spearhead the future without reservation. It seems the everything store has been using a gaming interface to make the tedium of sorting boxes more fun—even competitive. Could this be the answer to automation killing jobs? Or is this just another Bezos fantasy gone awry?
The playground of the human mind
Little is still understood about the grey matter we all carry inside our melons, but what is known is that humans enjoy having fun. So much so, in fact, that it often creates addiction.
Doubtful? When was the last time you walked away from a round of Candy Crush?
Addiction is okay when at the service of self-preservation, as is the case with finding food. But it can compete for brainpower when we have to do something unpleasant—like sorting boxes; causing us to daydream or skip work altogether.
Should work be addictive?
It makes perfect sense that gamifying a mindless task would make for a happier and more productive work day—many of us do that already (just five more words to reach my goal—woo!). But some argue that the competitive nature of the game could cause workplace woes. As if Employee of the Month wasn’t the same thing.
Instead, I think the problem is that most workplaces haven’t been able to create a way to effectively encourage workers to bring their best every day. Maybe Amazon is onto something by gamifying their factory line; it could create super-sorters.
Just think of the benefits gamifying creates:
- Better workflow for longer periods — if Fortnite play times are any indication
- Happier employees overall — who doesn’t like to have fun?
- Familiar reward system — give me a “ding” and a medal over thanks any day
- Greater degree of accuracy over time — gamers get better the more they play
- Higher employee retention — games are addictive, why not make that a good thing?
But what do you think? Is this Amazon going too far, or the seed of a brilliant solution to get through the workday? Would you gamify your work if you had the chance? What’s your favorite game, anyway? Leave a comment below and let us know!
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