If I told you that playing games at work increases worker productivity, would you think I was crazy? Most likely. Typically, society separates work and play. The workplace is a serious environment in which serious people complete serious tasks. Playtime is for rambunctious children who do not understand these realities—or so we’re told.
The digital workplace has caused organizations to rethink some of these long-held assumptions. In particular, organizations are starting to see the benefits of incorporating game design elements into digital platforms. We asked Thuan Nguyen, SharePoint and Office365 expert, to explain why playing games at work isn’t as wild as it seems.
Expert: Thuan Nguyen
Site: Microsoft MVP
“A relaxed work environment can benefit your business by enhancing job satisfaction and reducing stress so that you can get the most out of your employees.”
The digital workforce benefits from technology in a myriad of ways. Platforms like SharePoint allow workers to circulate information in cyberspace. Skype enables organizations to conduct virtual meetings with clients across the globe. Yammer keeps the informal conversation going online. All of these solutions are beneficial, as they provide digital workers with greater flexibility.
For some, however, this new technology produces feelings of stress, anxiety and fear. There’s a sense that digital workers have to keep up with the latest trends, which can be overwhelming. Can a relaxed, stress-free environment generate more results in the workplace? Nguyen sees the correlation and believes that one creative solution is for organizations to experiment with gamification.
“I [once] established a start-up company by developing a small gamification product on top of a Microsoft SharePoint platform. To me, gamification is really important and can add several advantages to a successful digital workplace.”
A point of clarification: Gamification does not mean that digital workers play videogames all day. Rather, gamification refers to the incorporation of game design elements into non-game situations, such as the professional workplace. Nguyen argues that gamification significantly enhances the workplace experience.
Thuan’s 3 Benefits of Gamification:
1. Gamification reduces stress
Digital workers will enjoy the workplace; they’ll become more comfortable with the digital office environment.
2. Gamification improves employee engagement
Digital workers will be more inclined to communicate with one another.
3. Gamification facilitates learning
Digital workers will become familiar with the latest technology when they are given the opportunity to use it in a fun way.
“People who are in good spirits are more likely to be productive.”
Gamification is a creative way to ease employees into the digital workplace. As technology evolves and more workers must familiarize themselves with the latest developments, organizations can use gamification to make the transition as seamless as possible.
About Thuan Nguyen:
Thuan Nguyen is the Microsoft Solution Architect, SharePoint & Office 365 MVP and SharePoint Practice Lead, currently working for FPT Asia Pacific in Singapore. He drives the expert level of Microsoft technology knowledge throughout many organizations. Nguyen has participated in planning, designing and implementing advanced business solutions utilizing a variety of Microsoft technologies for mid-tier and large organizations. In the past, he has established a small consulting company, and recently established a startup company developing a SharePoint-based gamification product. Nguyen brings out many crazy ideas that rouse the community and market.