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To help increase worker productivity, foster innovation, and make work seem less like work, some companies have incorporated gaming into their businesses processes, reports the Chicago Tribune. This "gamification" of the workplace includes virtual badges for completing tasks, unlocking more complex training courses when basic levels are completed, and awarding points for improvements, which are noted on an employee scoreboard. A research firm estimated that 70% of large companies will use gaming techniques for at least one business process by 2014.
Global technology and accounting firms are leading the way to putting the "fun" back into business fundamentals. For example, one company's game challenges employees to increase a virtual city's efficiency, and another incorporates gaming into its Leadership Academy. While no metrics currently exist to gauge the effectiveness of workplace games, a cited study shows employees who used video games while training had better factual learning skills, reached higher skill levels, and were better able to retain information compared to non-interactive learners.
Despite its noted potential in the workplace, at least one communications professor advises that companies should ensure that games do not get out of hand. He reasons that what might be perceived by some employees as healthy competition could create resentment among others.
Photo credit: Artemis Gordon