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About the project

Playfully motivate employees

Sustainability has also become an important issue for small and medium-sized enterprises as global warming continues. It is not only supply chains and business processes that play a role here - the behavior of a company's own employees in particular can have a major impact on its climate footprint.

The Greenify.work research project aims to investigate whether employees in small and medium-sized enterprises can be motivated to adopt sustainable behavior in the workplace through the use of game elements, so-called "gamification" - so that they reduce their electricity and water consumption, for example, or think more consciously about waste avoidance and transport routes. Previous studies in the area of private households suggest that game elements such as point systems, ranking lists, challenges, personalized tips and direct feedback demonstrably lead to lower energy and water consumption.

As part of the project, a gamified smartphone app based on scientific findings will be designed and tested in collaboration with small and medium-sized enterprises.

Game elements and their impact

Greenify.work works with different game mechanics to appeal to different types of users and motivate sustainable behavior


Transparent and traceable progress

Through a points and levels system, employees see their own progress. They receive badges for specific successes and can track their performance using sustainability metrics.


Individual goal setting and tracking

Employees can set goals for themselves by selecting challenges. These can be pursued and achieved through specific sustainability actions.


Personalized support and exploratory learning

Employees receive personalized recommendations for sustainability actions based on their goals. They can browse actions, get information on their impact, and roll the dice on suggestions to generate new ideas all the time.


Narrative and hedonic feedback

Leafy as an avatar accompanies employees in their daily shift to sustainable habits to create a better future. Motivating animations and direct feedback during the successful execution of sustainability actions strengthen the own experience of success.


Competition and social comparison

Employees can challenge each other in competitions and measure their sustainability behavior. A ranking list enables a company-wide comparison of individual performance with others.


Collaboration and teams

Employees can join teams and work together to achieve team goals. They can submit their own ideas to share with others and track the cumulative impact of individual successes in company-wide sustainability metrics.


Course of the research project

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Spring 2021

  • Execution of semi-structured interviews with employees of small and medium-sized enterprises on expectations and wishes for a gamified app for sustainable employee behavior
  • Design and implementation of a functional prototype based on the results of the interviews.

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Spring 2022

  • Qualitative testing phase of the prototype with a selected sample of employees of small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Execution of focus group interviews about experiences in the trial phase, challenges and opportunities, as well as further expectations and wishes for the further development of the app
  • Further development of the prototype based on the results of the focus group interviews

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Fall 2022

  • Execution of a quantitative field study to measure the effects of the gamified app for sustainable employee behavior with the entire workforce of small and medium-sized enterprises
  • Analysis of sustainability-relevant key measures and self-assessment of sustainable attitudes and behaviors

The Greenify.work app

The smartphone app for sustainability.

A separate app for each company

The Greenify.work app is designed so that each company receives its own app instance and employees can thus play with each other in a closed setting.

A companion in everyday work

The decision for a smartphone app was made based on the interviews with the employees. In this way, the topic of sustainability should accompany everyday work, but not distract from it.

Suitable for any team

The Greenify.work app works for large and small teams, so it can be used with 10 employees just as well as with 500.

Scientific publications on the research project

Publications in scientific (peer-reviewed) journals:

Kirchner-Krath, J., Morschheuser, B., Sicevic, N., Xi, N., von Korflesch, H. F. O., Hamari, J. (2024). Challenges in the adoption of sustainability information systems: A study on green IS in organizations. International Journal of Information Management, 102754. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijinfomgt.2024.102754

Krath, J., Schürmann, L. & von Korflesch, H. F. O. (2021). Revealing the theoretical basis of gamification: A systematic review and analysis of theory in research on gamification, serious games and game-based learning. Computers in Human Behavior (125), 106963. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2021.106963.

Publications in scientific (peer-reviewed) conference proceedings:

Krath, J., Morschheuser, B., von Korflesch, H.F.O., Hamari, J. (2023). How To Increase Sustainable Engagement In The Workplace Through Green IS: The Role Of Instructional And Motivational Design Features. 31st European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS 2023), 11.-16. Juni 2023 (forthcoming).

Krath, J., Morschheuser, B., von Korflesch, H.F.O. (2022). Designing Gamification for Sustainable Employee Behavior: Insights on Employee Motivations, Design Features and Gamification Elements.55th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS), 4.-7. Januar 2022,1594-1603. http://hdl.handle.net/10125/79530.

Krath, J. (2021). Gamification for Sustainable Employee Behavior: Extended Abstract for the CHI PLAY 2021 Doctoral Consortium. In: Extended Abstracts of the 2021 Annual Symposium on Computer-Human Interaction in Play (CHI PLAY ’21). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 411–414. https://doi.org/10.1145/3450337.3483523.

Krath, J., & von Korflesch, H. F. O. (2021). Player Types and Game Element Preferences: Investigating the Relationship with the Gamification User Types HEXAD Scale. In X. Fang (Ed.), HCI in Games: Experience Design and Game Mechanics. HCII 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12789 (pp. 219–238). Springer Nature. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-77277-2_18

Krath, J., & von Korflesch, H. F. O. (2021). Designing gamification and persuasive systems: a systematic literature review. 5th International GamiFIN Conference, 100–109. http://ceur-ws.org/Vol-2883/.

More information about Greenify.work

Contact us

If you are interested in further information about the Greenify.work research project or the app, please contact us. We will answer you as soon as possible and look forward to your inquiry.