People will argue that you can’t have fun in business because it isn’t professional. I think that belief is outdated.
Have you seen Google’s European Headquarters? They can slide down a slide into the canteen, sit in a Swiss cable car to make a call or simply play a bit of pool in their break.
Have you ever been to Microsofts office in Reading? They have Xbox 360s in the foyer.
And the Virgin brand….have you seen it? Well fun is the undercurrent that binds the group together.
Fun is good.
Ok, ok, not all kinds of fun can be deemed professional so lines need to be managed so they don’t get crossed, but I think we should all relax a little bit and start thinking how we can make our jobs more exciting.
Gamification is one exciting new idea that could make work more interesting and get the metrics gurus excited! In Finland a company called Microtask created an application for the Finnish National Library. They turned a potentially mind-numbing chore of spell-checking thousands of documents into a game. The full article can be seen here BBC Article. The point of the story is that people want to play the game, they want to get the moles across the drop, and while they are doing it they are racing through a significant workload.
Senior managers love metrics, and imagine what metrics you could reduce by introducing similar concepts elsewhere. All kinds of data entry work could be completed faster but so could any computer based role that has a time critical response element. Imagine if you could add a points system to call logging. Ever had to wait a day to get a call raised successfully with a technical problem, whether it’s your broadband at home or your PC at work? If the help desk could get bonus points for picking up calls faster then you could get a better service. Imagine what statistical improvements that could make – fewer complaints perhaps? Certainly reduced response times.
There is no reason why an element of fun cannot be used In the development of applications in the future. Even when you get used to something and the novelty wears off, wouldn’t you still want something a bit more colourful on your screen or some reward to work towards?
Gamification may well be the future, so why not think about how your company can bring some fun into the workplace.