Posts

The future of X #2: Gamification

The future of X #2: Gamification

What if your work could be as fun as a game? Wouldn’t it be much more motivation and exciting to go to work, if you knew you would be rewarded as you would in a game? If for every client you gained or product you sold, you would “reach a new level”? Think about it. Maybe you’re already playing!

On the second episode of OZY’s newest season of the podcast, The Future of X: The workplace, futurist Liselotte Lyngso joins the discussion of how gamification will change the way we work. On this episode, her co-experts are Mark Stevenson, Keisha Howard, Gene Farrell and James Canton.

“The future isn’t so abstract when it comes to gamification. It’s already all around us. Pilots hire gamers to become pilots, because they’ve basically already done the training.”

-Liselotte Lyngso.

Do you like your job?

Mark Stevenson is a futurist and the author of “An Optimist’s Tour of the Future” and one of his biggest worries about today’s work life is employee disengagement. He wonders why work isn’t enjoyable, when it’s such a significant part of our lives.

“The average employee is currently productive for about three to four hours a day. 85 percent of employees are disengaged with their work.”

-Mark Stevenson.

Maybe employee disengagement is a cause of habit. We’ve gotten so used to doing the things we do, and we’re not even sure why we do it anymore. Or maybe we don’t care, because our boss doesn’t give us high enough demands. No matter what causes this, something has to be done.

If you dislike your job, it’s most likely the way you have to perform your job, that you don’t like. According to Mark Stevenson, we can fight this by making the active replication enjoyable itself. An example of this is having sex. Society would say that we have sex because we enjoy it. But the biological explanation is actually that we have to reproduce ourselves. So, we would probably still do it, even if Mother Nature hadn’t made it enjoyable for us. It’s kind of the same thing with our work. Whether we like it or not, we have to do it in order to support ourselves. But doing a “Mother Nature” and making it more enjoyable would probably solve a lot of issues and enhance our productivity tremendously!

Your gamer group is your new team mates

So how do we then make our jobs more fun? Mark Stevenson suggests gamification. This is something that Keisha Howard, the founder of Sugar Gamers, agrees strongly with. Her point is that human beings, kids, and animals intrinsically learn through play. And that gamification will have a positive influence on a lot of spectrums in our work lives.

“If we could quantify or qualify our work skills like in a game, or level up and earn points, it would motivate people in a whole new way. Maybe even give them a completely new platform to relate to one another.”

-Keisha Howard.

But gamification wouldn’t only be a way of motivating people to do their jobs. It might actually be the foundation of a whole new way of creating work teams. In a lot of video games, roleplay and choosing your own character is a big part of the game. The idea is to team up with players who have skills that you don’t. So, the characters might not be good at everything individually, but when they come together as a team, they can be a very powerful source. If we began to create work teams like we do in video games, it could revolutionize the whole team dynamic at the future workplace.

Today, we strike to perform perfectly every time and we’re really hard on ourselves if we don’t succeed. In gaming, everyone loses all the time. The point is exactly that you can only win when you’ve actually allowed yourself to lose all those times. Therefore, gamification might also create a whole new idea of what it means to lose.

How will democratizing problem solving influence future work life, and what might become some of the downsides to introducing gamification in future work life? Listen to the rest of the podcast with Liselotte Lyngso here, and find out.

Want to read more about the future workplace and work life? Check out these articles with Liselotte Lyngso.

What will our work life look like in the year 2100?

What will our work life look like in the year 2100?

Machines and robots have already taken over many of the jobs that used to be performed by humans. This development will only continue in the future. There’s no way to stop it. The question is whether the change is necessarily going to have a negative effect. It might actually end up giving us a whole new perspective on our work life!

In the radio program “The Naked Scientists” from BBC, futurist Liselotte Lyngsø talks about what we can expect from future work life, where robots have been given all the physically tough assignments.

How to get a job in the future: be good at being a human

Take a deep breath and stop getting worried about loosing your job to fast and top tuned robots. Think about how it might end up being a total win win situation. All indicators show that the more we put technology into different areas, the more busy we get ourselves. Within healthcare, we now monitor elderly people in order to know exactly when they need water or exercise. It has created this hydra’s head with even more jobs for the healthcare providers. We will be around 10 billion people so there will be plenty of stuff to do, it will just be different tasks than we’re used to.

Today, many people get stressed and have to take leaves from their work. In the future we’ll look back and think that “people were so primitive, pushing people like lemons! Now we can actually get something better out of people, because we understand how they work.”

Yes, robots will take over many of the jobs that we have today. Luckily, there will be so many new jobs that we haven’t even discovered yet. Those jobs will require qualities that robots can’t offer, such as an emphatic mindset. We’ll make robots do the “hard work” and have people work in a whole other way. A way, tailored for them individually, so that they won’t get stressed and depressed. We’ll also go from “headhunting” to “teamhunting” because people work better together and need human contact. We won’t go on retirement anymore, instead we’ll take breaks and get recharged during our work life.

Empathy is key

“Looking at ourselves as machines, that’s a big mistake. We really have to find out about human nature. Empathy will be important and difficult for the machines to master and the ability to be irritated is going to be the key to clever innovation. Likewise people can get lazy, and that’s also a good sentiment if you want to create a better planet because we find ways of doing things in smarter ways. We have to tease out human capabilities and find out how to find our individual potentials”.

-Liselotte Lyngsø

Listen to the whole radio program with Liselotte Lyngsø and learn about what future offices are going to look like when holograms are fully developed. You can also discover why we’ll replace our traditional education with micro chips and implants of memories!

You can also read the article “This is what work will look like in year 2100” from Fast Company, where Lyngsø explains further about the subject of how people will work in the future of machines and robots.