Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past couple of months, you’ll be familiar with the latest digital trend sweeping the world. Pokémon Go involves using your mobile to find and capture virtual creatures, and is currently being used by more than 100 million users worldwide.
Now I’m not one of them to be honest, but there have been mixed views of the game. Some have praising the app for encouraging people to get outside and become more active. But it’s also had its fair share of criticism. There have been expressed about the likelihood of players being involved in accidents whilst engrossed in the game, and there have been reports of trespassing, and even fights breaking out in the street.
So whether you’re an addicted player or a bit of a cynic, if you employee people, then you have some serious considerations to make. According to a recent Forbes survey 69% of users play at work, so it’s likely your staff are indulging in a little Pokémon Go. So what are you supposed to 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 it had been installed on more than 100 work devices, and one employee was almost injured after being distracted by the game. Boeing didn’t mess around, and Pokémon Go was added to their software blacklist.
There have also been concerns raised about security. The app allows users to take photographs of their ‘catches’, including a live shot of the location. These shots are often shared on social media sites by eager players who want to show off their latest achievements. So if your staff are capturing images of your workplace, this is a can of worms you probably don’t want to open. Sensitive data and documentation could easily be compromised, so take care.
But is a ban of the game really the best solution? It doesn’t take a genius to work out if your staff are chasing Pikachu when they should be working, it’s likely you’ll see a drop in productivity and profit. 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 while, which is a positive thing.
So before issuing 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 make sure they are fit for purpose?
- What opportunities and threats are you facing? 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 you can keep a level head, and do what’s best for your business.
If one thing is for certain, it’s that challenges surrounding social media and the usage of mobile devices are only going to become more commonplace in the coming months and years. Make sure that you’re ready for them.
If you would you like to discuss your social media concerns with an expert pick up the phone and give us a call. We’ll arrange a suitable time for a no obligation consultation, and help you keep your eye on the game.