Play while you work


Employees will work smarter, faster and more happily if what they're doing feels like a game. (As opposed to an endless burden weighing down on them as they trudge towards the grave, stepping on the broken fragments of their discarded dreams.) That's why, to motivate users while they work, business software is beginning to learn from online games.

One of the first of these games for white-collar wage slaves is Attent, a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook that creates a whole virtual economy around the sending and receiving of email. People assign their outgoing email with a certain number of "Serios" - the game's currency. When that email arrives in the recipient's inbox, that recipient immediately knows how important it is to the sender, and by answering it they receive the assigned Serios to spend on their own outgoing mail. Over time employees learn to prioritize their email, and to respond more quickly when they receive something important.

In return for allowing employers to see who communicates the most within the company, users can earn rewards for their email. If an employee is the main point of contact between two different departments, then they're recognized for their work.

Attent is mostly licensed to large corporations, but a demonstration video and free trial are both available on the company's website.