• Market Crumbs

Amazon's Warehouse Gamification Effort Expands

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The Washington Post wrote back in 2019 about Amazon gamifying its warehouses, where associates can play games such as MissionRacer, PicksInSpace, Dragon Duel and CastleCrafter, to make tedious tasks more bearable and drive productivity improvement. The program, called FC Games, began in 2017 at a single Amazon warehouse before expanding to five warehouses by 2019.

Amazon isn't the first company to gamify jobs to let employees compete against each other while improving productivity. Uber, Lyft, Target and Delta Air Lines are among the companies that have used gamification to keep employees engaged during mundane tasks.

The Information reported last week that Amazon is now offering the optional FC Games to associates at Amazon warehouses across at least 20 states. Associates can monitor the games on screens at the stowing and picking stations as they compete for digital rewards that can be redeemed for virtual pets such as dinosaurs and penguins.

Their report notes employees' reception to the games are mixed, with some saying its a fun way to keep the job interesting while an employee even compared it to an episode of "Black Mirror."

"The games aren't particularly good, although some people do like it because it helps make the mind-numbing boredom of a 10-hour shift better," an Amazon employee told The Information.

"Employees have told us they enjoy having the option to join in these workstation games, and we're excited to be taking their feedback and expanding the program to even more buildings throughout our network," Amazon spokesperson Kent Hollenbeck told The Information. "Even with this expansion, the program remains completely optional for employees; they can switch in or out of different games depending on their preference, can play anonymously, or not play at all—the choice is theirs."

It seems Amazon has seen enough positives from the last few years to expand the games to additional warehouses. At a time when the company is facing continued pressure for working conditions in its warehouses, Amazon hopes gamifying their tasks can help improve moral and productivity.

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