How to Keep Pokémon Go from Jeopardizing Workplace Safety

How to Keep Pokémon Go from Jeopardizing Workplace Safety

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve heard about Pokémon GO, seen it being played, or maybe are even a trainer yourself. Since its July release, the popularity of this app-based augmented reality game has seemed to only rise.

However, unlike other distracting and addicting smartphone games, the premise of Pokémon Go is to, well, go. The game requires players to physically walk around, often while looking at their screen for creatures to capture or items to collect. Of course, the games’ publisher Niantic has covered their bases by delivering a warning during the load screen that cautions players to be aware of their surroundings while playing. But still, accidents are undoubtedly going to happen.

If you’ve noticed employees who appear to be playing Pokémon GO in a dangerous work environment, the cause for concern is real. But responding with harsh anti-game policies or belittling employees’ interest in the game can be harmful for morale. (Take this manager’s fear-mongering flyer as an example of what not to do.) Here are a few suggestions to keep your workplace safe without sucking out all the fun for aspiring Pokémon trainers.

Make certain places or times of day Pokémon friendly. Is there an area of your workplace that would allow employees to freely walk and search for Pokémon? Or a break time wherein it’s ok for employees to use their phone? Playing games at work may not be allowed, but expressing this flexibility will encourage employees to follow expectations during the restricted times/areas.

Create a new “game” for employees to play. Create an incentive-based game designed to satiate the desire of employees to play while offering rewards or benefits to employees with good performance. You could even make a game that is Pokémon themed, or let employees play under their existing Pokémon GO team color (red, yellow, or blue.)

Make an after-work event for Pokémon players. In the game, you can pay a few bucks to buy a pack of “lures” which cause rare Pokémon to come out of hiding in the area. Reward your employees for following the rules and encourage after-hours play by offering to drop a lure in a safe spot after work hours. Or, sponsor a different off-site Pokémon event for employees to enjoy.

The risk of negligence or distraction to people playing Pokémon GO is a real one, but the game has also been positively regarded for bringing people together. By setting clear boundaries and following these guidelines, you can help keep employees safe from harm while encouraging them share a new hobby – which not only boosts morale, but can make for a fun workplace environment.





Carrie Charity Murphy is a freelance writer for Insured Solutions and Improve comedienne based in Louisville, Kentucky. She lives with her husband Ben and their two dogs, Sprocket and Ms. Brisby.
Share This Post