Since the release of Pokémon GO earlier this summer, businesses continue to attempt to find a balance between “Gotta catch ‘em all” and “Gotta go to work.” Many companies have found that the game actually isn’t a threat to corporate productivity at all. Rather, it can boost employee morale and productivity when the balance between fun and work is established and conveyed clearly to employees.
Historically, using games to get work done has piqued employees’ interest for centuries. By making work more like a game and less like a regimented series of events, employees are happier to do their job, thereby seeing better results performed at a higher rate. Corporate wellness programs function in the same manner. What happens when we use a game as an outlet for corporate wellness?
Allowing employees to set aside some daily work time to catch Pokémon means that employees are getting more exercise than usual during a normal work day. By going Pokémon hunting, employees can enjoy a dose of vitamin D while walking, and sometimes running, boosting both mood and productivity.
In addition to exercise, Pokémon GO users are improving relationships with their coworkers. Companies that encourage solo play during work breaks and as a group activity see stronger work friendships and better overall teamwork, leading to more productivity on the clock.
Though Pokémon GO has many benefits, it is easy to cross the line into “too much of a good thing.” As the employer, you must recognize the benefits of Pokémon GO while stressing that it should be enjoyed in moderation while on the job.
Experts say that the amount of impact the game has on an employee’s performance is ultimately dependent on the employee’s willpower. Some see playing the game as a healthy break to get out the confinements of a chair inside the office, while others do not recognize the line to between taking a break and taking advantage of their employers. Other employees see this game as an integral part of their life—a little more “reality” than “augmented” that the game is so well-praised for.
Some companies find that allowing Pokémon GO is not a problem with their employees when judging on the basis of work performance, rather than time spent looking at the game versus time spent looking at something work-related. Essentially, if an employee is getting his or her work done and doing it well, then playing Pokémon GO can be permitted.
Employees who are given established priorities and deadlines are the ones who tend to be more successful in terms of productivity. Encourage game play for employees as an outlet during a break or wellness initiative, but remind them of your company’s electronic usage policy during working hours.
By assessing employees’ Pokémon GO activity in your workplace, you and your human resources department can implement effective guidelines that allow employees to indulge in Pokémon GO in moderation while keeping employees happy, healthy, and working efficiently.