Amazon’s warehouse works have complained about the working conditions not being much favorable. Thus, to make work more ‘fun’ and inspire workers, the company is turning distinct warehouse jobs in video games.
As detailed in a new report from The Washington Post, Amazon has started installing displays alongside workers’ stations that feature simple games with names like PicksInSpace, Mission Racer, and CastleCrafter. Their physical actions, assembling orders, and moving items, are translated into virtual in-game moves: the more tasks a worker completes, the more points or progress they make in the game.
In at least one facility, managers reward workers who achieve high scores with Amazon” swag bucks” This is a firm currency that employees can exchange for Amazon-branded merchandise, such as t-shirts and water bottles.
Experts say these kinds of random targets and benefits have psychologically strong outcomes. They could make rote tasks appear purposeful and engaging and may be used to shape behavior, pushing workers harder and more robust. Taken too far, however, they become just another type of work, one made even more gloomy by the facade of drama.
A recent report from The Verge demonstrated that Amazon uses a stringent AI-based metric system to not only track its workers’ performance but sometimes to terminate workers automatically if they don’t meet benchmarks.
The pressure to do up to company standards in Amazon’s warehouses are allegedly so much. A current survey found 74 percent of its workers in those facilities feared using the restroom because taking a break could affect their output.
According to a recent estimate by Amazon, in roughly a decade, warehouse workers might not even have to take toilet breaks, since the company may have its fulfillment process entirely automatic.