By now, you have undoubtedly heard about the “Pokémon GO” craze that is sweeping the world. That would be the free-to-play, location-based augmented reality game where players use a mobile device’s GPS to locate, capture, battle and train virtual creatures called Pokémon. With more than 7.5 million users, it has surpassed Twitter as the most popular mobile app. With that kind of recognition, you are probably wondering what kind of impact its having on your employees’ productivity.
When it comes to employee cell phone usage at work and mobile apps and games, we suggest the following general guidelines:
- Review your handbook policies to ensure they have statements regarding acceptable and unacceptable employee social media networking and gaming during work hours.
- Additionally, if employees operate vehicles while on company time, make sure you have a policy on distracted driving and offer training on safe driving practices. Recently in Japan, a 39-year-old farmer driving a truck struck and killed one pedestrian and severely injured another while he was playing the game.
- Finally, if employees have company issued cell phones, work with your IT professionals to limit the download and data usage capabilities and reinforce your definition of acceptable personal use of these devices.
- Train managers on how to handle the situation if they catch an employee violating work rules while playing the game. As always, stress the importance of consistency in reprimands for this sort of issue.
This particular game phenomenon does have benefits. Used in moderation, it can foster a culture of teamwork, motivation and social interaction as players can select a color to play for and, once selected, players with the same color can team up to conquer a Pokémon Gym together. In addition, the game requires players to be active; it even rewards players for walking certain distances. This is good not only for physical health, but mental health as well.
If you think “PokémonGO” may be a problem in your workplace or if you’re looking for a creative way to incorporate the game into daily teamwork activities; give BCN Services a call at 1-800-891-9911.
Alicia Freeman, New Product and Payroll Manager