There’s a few stories you hear daily about life as an amazon warehouse operative. You probably know people who have worked there and all of them say the same things about this semi autonomous job — Long working hours, restrictive bathroom policies, sleep deprivation and the stress of the job paints a bleak picture.
So the Amazon team have came up with an interesting but eccentric solution, give them virtual currency for doing there jobs better !
The amazons virtual currency works just like it does in computer games.
The commerce giants team have came up with their solution. Screens are installed next to the workers stations which feature such engaging titles as PicksInSpace, Mission Racer, and CastleCrafter. These games track the employees warehouse task completion as in game moves. The faster they do their job the faster they will be in the game thus making them more digital currency.
Their goal of this robotic solution is to make employees faster and more productive by using a scoreboard system to keep employees engaged and to make them aware of their co workers scores too.
The amazons virtual currency: Swag Bucks
The idea to include this in their workplace is making some skeptics uneasy. So far five warehouses in the US and the UK are piloting the scheme, according to the Washington Post. The games themselves are optional and have an in game mechanic that makes the workers who get the highest scores earn more “swag bucks.” Which is an in house currency that can be redeemed on Amazon products.
Making laborious and tedious work like a game won’t fix any workplace problems.
Making work a game isn’t by any means a new concept but using it in this way is. The frightening idea that marrying virtual and physical reality into our working lives could become a common place is an idea that should make us all realize where we are headed in this autonomous new world.
This is just a pilot test for Amazon but if it works they will roll it out globally. There’s no concrete evidence that it will work at all but it does allow for employees to become more engaged with laborious tasks. They may make some employees work faster and harder. But how long until the games and the work becomes non engaging and tedious again ?
“Gamification’ is a big focus for us in making jobs more interesting,” said Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior VP of worldwide operations, in a tweet Tuesday. “We have a variety of games single and multi player. The objective is simple — take something that can be pretty boring and make it more interesting and hopefully fun.”
Amazon stated that this was in no way created to make workers more competitive they stated that it was purely to keep them more engaged with work.
What do you think ? Let us know in the comments !