Editor’s letter: Catching Pokémon fever

The latest gaming craze to seemingly take over the world is Pokémon Go and if you haven’t experienced it already, the chances are your employees have.

And it’s almost equally certain that there are work phones in your organisation with the game app installed.

The first couple of weeks saw an explosion in participation (and a simultaneous soaring of Nintendo’s stock market valuation), and we have now begun seeing companies reacting to the game.

And the responses have covered the full spectrum.

Boeing has banned employees from playing the game after the app was found on 100 work phones – with one employee almost suffering an injury playing it.

Meanwhile others, such as The Next Web, have urged staff to play it every day as a way of boosting physical activity.


Opportunity or threat?

pokemongoThe reality is that this new craze should be treated just as you would any other technological innovation or new arrival.

If your business is in the habit of blacklisting apps or issuing guidance about how employees work then you may wish to consider doing so for Pokémon Go.

However, for other organisations it may be an opportunity to engage your workers who have joined in the craze.

Using the app could help you to understand what draws your employees into it and use it as an opportunity to relate to them.

Want to encourage staff to a certain part of the building or reward them for attending a meeting? Why not use a ‘lure’ to tempt more Pokemon characters there?

You could also find out if your workplace is a Pokestop or Pokemon gym, or is near to one, and maximise that resource.

Alternatively, it may be worth just leaving the issue alone.

Employees already have a multitude of possibilities to distract from their work – if you trust them to do the right thing with every other one, why wouldn’t you with this?


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