Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of workers across the globe have been forced to work from home. Yet, when new obstacles are encountered, new opportunities are created. Companies and their employees have been taking advantage of the virtual workspace and incorporating video games, and video game-like aspects into everyday tasks.
Amazon started a pilot program in 2019 where they gave workers at fulfillment centers the opportunity to play games while working. Amazon has created different games where employees can keep track of their work on small screens while keeping their mundane tasks exciting. Employees can even compete against each other and win Amazon swag. There has been some concern that constantly competing against your coworkers could create a stressful working environment, but Amazon’s games also allow workers to play alone.
The way employers think about video games is also changing. Gamers are learning to take their gaming skills and apply them to the work they do every day. From problem-solving to leadership, gaming is teaching the youth of today how to work and lead in the real world, whether they realize it or not. Even the Royal Air Force has started to look for many “gamer attributes” in new recruits In the United Kingdom, one university even suggested that gamming could give students skills to make them more successful inside the classroom. The stigma around teenage boys spending all their time playing video games is changing; employers are starting to recognize the hard and soft skills that gamers possess and realize that gaming gives people numerous transferable skills.
Other companies have taken advantage of the current virtual working environment by creating virtual office spaces. Gather is one of many companies trying to connect employees, even when they can’t be in the office together. Gather has created a cloud-based service for remote work that allows employees to create digital office spaces. Innovative Designs for Education is a U.S. based company that has taken advantage of this service. The main virtual office is set up with desks and couches, while another employee has set up her desk on the beach. The boss’s office is located in a castle nearby. This new, virtual office combines all of the best virtual chatting services: Zoom, Slack, and more while making employees feel like they are working in a video game. Employees at EID can chat together and efficiently communicate, rather than waiting hours to have your question answered via email.
For many people, it will be many months, or even years, before they will step foot in a physical office space again. Yet, technology is making it easier than ever to stay connected with your coworkers.