Amazon uses video games to engage warehouse employees


Something for the weekend: E-commerce organisation Amazon has tried to combat boredom by taking a leaf out of Mary Poppins book and turning work into a game, or more specifically, a video game.

According to US newspaper The Washington Post, Amazon has implemented screens next to employees’ desks at five warehouses across the UK and US. Using these, employees can opt to play simple games, such as PicksInSpace, Mission Racer and CastleCrafter during working hours.

The games utilise employees’ physical actions, for example when staff assemble orders or move items. These everyday tasks translate into virtual in-game actions; for example, the quicker an employee picks up items and places them in a box, the faster a video game car could move around a virtual track.

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Amazon has implemented the voluntary games to help make work more enjoyable and to encourage higher productivity, especially as staff can compete against each other for the highest scores. In one Amazon facility, managers have even taken to rewarding employees for earning high scores with ‘swag bucks’; this is an organisational currency that can be exchange for Amazon-branded merchandise, such as t-shirts and water bottles.

Here at Employee Benefits, we think this it is a brilliant idea to use workplace-related actions to achieve video game high scores, especially if rewards can also be earned. We think a challenge around typing speed or tea making would see us collect the most points…