What's all this fuss about Pokemon Go?

Submitted by Dawn on 24th October 2016

social media policy, use of social media in workplace, employment

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the latest digital trend to be sweeping the world. Pokémon Go involves using your mobile device to locate and capture virtual creatures, and it currently has more than 100 million users. 

Some have praised the app for encouraging people to get outside and become more active, but it’s also had its fair share of criticism. We have seen people being involved in accidents whilst engrossed in the game, and there have been reports of trespassing, and even fights breaking out in the street! 

Whether you’re an addicted player or a bit of a cynic, if you’re an employer then it’s probably something you should at least think about. Statistically speaking, it’s very likely that some of your staff are indulging in a little Pokémon Go in their spare time, and possibly even at the office. So, what should you do about it? 

Interestingly, Boeing was the first large company to ban the use of the app for employees during working hours. It was reported that it had been installed on more than 100 work devices, and one employee was almost injured after being distracted by the game. The aerospace company didn’t mess around, and Pokémon Go was added to their software blacklist. 

There have also been concerns raised around security. The app allows users to take photographs of their ‘catches’, including a live shot of the location. These shots are often shared to social media networks by those eager to show off their latest achievements. If your staff are capturing images of your workplace, then this is a can of worms that you probably don’t want to open. Sensitive data and documentation could very easily be compromised. 

But is an outright ban on the game the best answer? It doesn’t take a genius to work out that if your staff are chasing Pikachu when they should be working, you’re going to see a productivity and profit drop. It’s not necessarily all doom and gloom, though. Playing the game could inject some fun and excitement into the working day, and it could encourage your staff to get away from their desks for a little while, which is often a positive thing. 

Before you issue an outright ban on Pokémon in the workplace, think about the bigger picture. What are your existing social media policies, and do they cover the current issues? Do your policies need a refresh, to ensure that they’re still fit for purpose? What opportunities and threats are you facing, and how can you handle them without overreacting, whilst keeping business priorities top of mind? 

When it comes to people issues, there are often no right or wrong answers. What’s important is that you can keep a level head, and do what’s right for your business. 

The one certainty is that challenges surrounding social media and the usage of mobile devices are only going to become more prevalent in the coming months and years. Make sure that you’re ready for them by giving us a call on 01604 763494 or contact us via the contact form on the right of this page discuss what’s the right approach for your business.