I have received quite some questions and remarks about the theme for this year’s Work = Play conference. The theme is activating fun through work and a lot of people ask me: “Shouldn’t it be the other way around, Activating work through fun?” And this is exactly what we want to counter with this year’s conference. I have seen quite a few organisations where they try to add more fun to the environment. Things like putting up an Xbox kinect in the lunch area, teambuilding events, funny posters and decorations, and all those kinds of things are not new anymore.
I am not challenging that these initiatives can’t change the environment and make it more motivating to get your work done, quite the contrary. These are still external elements, so the work itself doesn’t change that much. And the biggest motivator comes from getting your work done so that you can have fun. What we want to focus on with our conference is not adding external elements of fun or games to the work environment to make it better. We want to change the actual way of working so that it triggers more fun and happiness. So we are focussing on adding internal elements of game design and theory to activate fun while doing your work and not after you have finished your work and it’s play time 😉