The office is usually thought of as a dark and dreary place, filled with serious people doing serious things. Yet, a new industry has popped up and is changing that notion drastically. Gamification is defined as using game mechanics and marketing to create engagement and solve problems. For instance, instead of receiving a document that lists the names and positions of every employee in your organization, you would play a fun trivia game in which you match pictures of your co-workers with their job description. Although it may seem strange, playing games in the office can prove to be more successful than traditional methods of team building.
1. Games force you to work in teams- Sure, people work in teams at work all the time, but using a game-like setting can change this dynamic entirely. When group members are playing a game, their objectives and the final prize are clearly defined. They enter a realm in which they can only rely on each other to achieve the goals of the game. This immediately brings the team members together and connects them in a way that does not exist outside of the gaming world.
2. Members learn with each level- Whether you are playing Monopoly or a company-based voting contest, you are bound to learn something new every time you play a game. This is because it is necessary to develop a strategy, learn your weaknesses and acknowledge your strengths as you work through the levels of a game. If you apply this to the workplace, employees will also learn business-related facts if a company uses gamified solutions in the office. As employees participate in an engaging activity, they will also be learning information that is specific to their organization since this information will be essential to understanding the objective and rules of the game.
3. Employees will welcome the chance to take direction- Since games instill a sense of escape, participants are more likely to accept guidelines that may seem absurd in the real world. For example, we conducted an experiment in which we asked members of an organization to stare each straight in the eyes for as long as possible. Whoever laughed or looked away first would lose the game. Since this activity was clearly described as a game, participants were quick to pair up with one another and engage in this staring contest. They concentrated and strived to be the one person who could stare into their partner’s eyes for the longest period of time. This group of employees was willing to partake in a competition that would seem strange in any other type of setting and also participated in a trust exercise that is valuable to any type of business.