Work is Just a Game We Call Life

by Jessica Oaks

Our generation is changing the world. We’ve grown up with technology and mastered it better than anyone else.

We use it to our advantage in everything we do.

Because of this, we take a slightly entitled mentality with us everywhere we go. But, we mostly just feel like we deserve a highly entertaining experience.

Love is a battlefield, and life is a game. On that note, so is work.

By 2020, Gen-Yers will account for 40 percent of the global workforce, and they are projected to reach 75 percent by 2025.

We are moving the needle when it comes to restructuring our work environment so it keeps us loving our jobs.

Enter: gamification of the workplace. Gamification implants all the principles games are made of into an arena that normally doesn’t have them.

Think about it: Something is always better when there’s some sort of incentive, competition, badge of honor, level of accomplishment or pride at stake, especially when it comes to work.

To stay informed with the impact we’re having on the rest of the world, here are a few ways our Millennial needs and expectations are fueling gamification of the workplace:

1. We already know the game.

You may not know it, but as a Gen-Yer, you are likely a “gamer.” If you’ve downloaded any phone app that involves attributes like entertainment, reward, incentive, challenge, stimulation or goal-setting, then you've taken part in this new, looser definition of gaming from modern technology.

We know the user interfaces of smartphones, tablets, wearables and laptops so well, we could do it in our sleep.

So naturally, our highly-coveted skills bode well when they're applied to, say, a game application designed to help work production.

Companies are making this seamless connection and implementing apps with similar gaming effects into the office.

2. We value the experience over the money (for the most part).

We tend to “live in the moment” because #YOLO. In the words of the one and only Hova (aka Jay-Z), “I used to give a sh*t, now I don’t give a sh*t more.

Truth be told, I had more fun when I was piss poor.” To our parents, this is hard to explain.

But all of us know the thrill of living on the edge is an experience well worth it.

To this end, the latest mobile technology outputs the most immersive experiences filled with the greatest sounds, visuals and uninterrupted functions that enable us to make a seamless transition into our work lives.

Work that offers an experience, like simulation training apps for nurses, generates the feeling of effort paying off, even if we’re living paycheck to paycheck.

3. We need instant gratification and connection.

Whether it’s likes on Instagram, a match on Tinder or communicating in real-time via digital platforms (Facebook, FaceTime, texting, etc.), we thrive on instant gratification and social connection.

Companies have caught on to this conditioned state of mind we hold and put out games like Nitro for Salesforce, which motivates sales managers with in-browser notifications (via social channels) that display as soon as a player reaches a goal (for example, an employee closing a deal). This keeps us happy and motivated to continue doing work.

4. We need transparency.

Thanks to always having the Internet at our fingertips, we’ve grown to expect information whenever we want.

Corporations are quenching our need for knowledge by designing work games to be transparent.

Publicly sharing player and team statistics help employees track their progress and use it as a benchmark for the next step toward an objective.

5. We are majorly competitive.

Many of us trying to make it in the post-recession world know job competition is fierce.

Biologically, humans are already built with a competitive instinct, but to be successful in the working world, we’re expected to go above and beyond.

It’s a perfect fit for businesses to place gaming apps at work to amp up the competition in order to improve an organization’s overall operations and employee drive.

If everything could be as fun as a game, life would be set. So, we just can’t help but want and expect a joy ride in this game we call life.

This is why our generation is pushing for change, reformatting work to be one big game of fun, motivation and a reward. We’re just trying to live our lives to the fullest!