The Gamification Of The Office Space

Category: Office Design

The gamification of the working environment is one of the most notable trends that have recently emerged in the world of office interior design. Over the past few years, we have witnessed a major shift in how office space is perceived: thanks to gamification techniques, workspaces now have the power to engage employees and to become increasingly meaningful for both staff and potential clients. In fact, market researchers affirm that the gamification industry will grow by nearly 70 per cent within the next 3 years. In this article we take a look at this concept and its application in office interiors.

Understanding the gamification concept

The basic premise behind gamification takes into consideration the positive impact that games can have on performance and overall well-being. From a psycho-social point of view, games help create a sense of achievement and accomplishment, as well as promote collaboration. Games can also contribute to the development of crucial skills, such as strategic decision-making, enhanced learning ability, and improved creativity. All these elements can and have been successfully extended to working environments. However, an important distinction must be made: gamification is not about turning office space into a game, but rather about incorporating the most beneficial aspects of games into working environments. This is fundamental for modern businesses, as thinking outside of the box is essential to stay ahead of the competition.

Gamification has multiple applications in corporate settings, and companies have been aware of its potential impact for decades. For instance, simple reward schemes like air miles or employee recognition programmes have been implemented for years and exemplify how beneficial it can be to add a playful element to routine tasks. Some institutions use game-based elements as part of their recruitment strategy (for example the MI5), whereas others have introduced gamification in order to manage their expenses (Google). Other companies are using gamification strategies to improve collaboration, facilitate brainstorming, measure their performance indexes, encourage compliance with corporate policies, and to carry out human capital management.

Gamification and office design trends

The concept of gamification in the workplace is highly versatile and can include more than just reward schemes or creative staff training methods. Office design has increasingly become an integral part of corporate branding and here's where gamification techniques can make a world of a difference. Well-executed fit out projects can help boost productivity and create brand awareness by adding game-related elements into office design.

This is often the result of the interaction between technology and office design trends. For instance, many organisations are focusing on the development of smart apps that facilitate and reward green behaviours, such as video-conferencing and energy-efficient actions. This in turn is causing employers to rethink workspace layout and office refurbishment plans in order to prioritise layouts that increase engagement and team building. Some examples include the addition of dedicated play rooms (such as Google's office in New York or Pixar's Emeryville headquarters), and the inclusion of rest areas or office meeting pods.

In the near future, we can expect gamification techniques to become even more refined and to give way to innovative office design ideas. For now, organisations have the opportunity to take office fit out plans a step further and to gamify their working environment in a way that reinforces organisational values and promotes healthier and more productive conditions.

Posted 30th September, 2015

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