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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.

The future of X #1: the workplace

The future of X #1: the workplace

The future workplace is beyond the office. And our tools are becoming smarter and more powerful. How and why will our work change over the next 50 years? What does the next generation of the workforce care about? 

Futurist Liselotte Lyngsø, Future Navigator, is proud to be a part of OZY’s newest season of the podcast, The Future of X: The workplace. She talks about how frustration, curiosity and creativity is the key to success in the worklife of the future. To also give their input about the subject, was CEO of the Institute for Global Futures, James Canton and CEO of Smartsheet, Mark Mader. 

Based on OZY’s journalism and timely interviews with leading futurists, the podcast examines the ways in which technology will improve the contributions humans make to the world.

Watch out for the robots! Or what?

People often get really worried when they think about their future. Especially when it comes to their worklife, and especially in these times. Over the years, the technological era has really shown its face. The development of machines and robots is so fast, it’s hard to keep track of what we’ve got and what’s still yet to come. We talk about how almost every job that we see today is going to be a machine driven job in the future workplace and we ask: “well am I then going to be out of a job?”.

The truth is, human work has been evolving for a long time. It’s less than a 100 years ago that almost 100% of the jobs back then was found on farms. Who does the work on current farms? Machines! And the farmers are still not unemployed. They just found something better do do with their time. Doctor James Cantor states that as it is, humans aren’t event qualified to do future jobs. They need to learn new skills to stay in work. Human, emotional skills, that no robot can master.

We need to understand as individuals – as leaders of companies and organizations, as leaders of even nations – that we are in a seismic change in the workforce.”

-James Canton, CEO of the Institute for Global Futures.

From being an on-looker to doing!

Maybe the robots will overtake the future workplace. But does that stop us from working? Or does it give us room to do what we’re actually qualified to do? We no longer need to be machines and do the hard work. In the future, people will study to become great humans. Learning human skills and mastering human emotions.

“Everyone should be creative! And creativity needs oxygen which we’ll get when less meaningful work is done by AI and machines.” 

-Mark Mader, CEO of Smartsheet.

Think about the inventions and ideas that have been brought to life over time. Robotic vacuum cleaners, loan mowers etc. Where did they come from? Why did we start inventing machines in the first place? Because we didn’t want to do the boring housework ourselves! Frustration leads to a better, smarter solution.

“For me creativity is also being lazy. It’s also being irritated. It’s also being curious. It’s basically being all the stuff that machines are not.”

-Liselotte Lyngsø, Future Navigator.

That’s what the machines are for!

For the next generation, a job is never going to just be a job anymore. And future leaders will also expect so much more from their employees. Not just that they do the paperwork – the machines can do that. But that they bring creativity and innovation into every project that they’re handed. The future workplace is not about looking at what everyone else is doing. We have to make the best out of people and create mening wherever we go.

How do we prepare people for what to come? Are people without a degree in science or math going to be jobless in the future? Not according to Mark Mader, but that’s for you to hear about in the first episode of The Future Workplace by OZY.

You can also read more about the future workplace in these articles with Liselotte Lyngso.