Why It Might be Okay to Pokemon Go at Work

It’s official: the Pokemon Go app spent 20 days as the most popular app in the U.S. Apple app store. (Now, it’s No. 2.) And, its popularity has led to the completely predictable urban legends, memes and, of course, people naming their babies after Pokemon monsters. There’s even Pokemon in war-torn Syria.

Reactions to Pokemon Go in the business community have been mixed, to say the least. Business owners have been putting signs in their stores, either to keep out loiters or to let people know they are open for monster-hunting business. The most marketing-savvy among them have figured out ways to capitalize on the craze.

Pokemon Go at Work

When it comes to playing at work, well, let’s say people have a trainer side hustle going on.

According to a survey by Forbes, 69% of Pokemon Go users play at work. And, not only that, they report multiple positive effects, including bonding with coworkers and getting some exercise.

You may think that exercise is coming at the expense of productivity but not all companies see it that way. The Next Web, a tech company located in Amsterdam, has made Pokemon Go a mandatory activity, precisely because periodic physical activity boosts work performance.

Benefits of Pokemon Go During Work Hours

Here’s our list of reasons why you should think about incorporating Pokemon Go into your workplace:

Pokemon monster visits AIM's offices in Omaha

Pokemon monster visits AIM Careerlink’s offices.

Exercise

As mentioned above, taking breaks to get up from your desk and move around has a positive effect on work performance. Even though people recognize this, they often get so absorbed in work. Being too absorbed for too long can actually hinder your effectiveness.

Coworker Bonding

Within the workplace, Pokemon Go might even be considered a team building exercise, since it’s an activity that enhances social relations. Here at AIM Careerlink, team members have created a Slack# channel to discuss the game and organize lunchtime outings.

“It’s common ground that we share together,” said a sales associate at Careerlink. “I’m able to talk about something with [my coworkers] outside of work.”

Sparking New Connections

You may have noticed a lot of new faces in your workplace in the past couple weeks. The insatiable thirst for Pokemon monsters brings a lot of people to places they’ve never been–and that includes different parts of the office. Find ways to turn these moments into conversation starters.

A Neutral Topic of Conversation

In an era of political polarization and non-stop controversy, Pokemon Go is a fun, relaxing pastime. Although there’s an element of competition to the game, it’s a lot more like going fishing with friends. And, the rivalry between the three teams (Go Team Valor!) is always in good fun.

Natural Social Media Buzz

If you want to promote your company as a fun place to work, this is a great time to let your team do the talking. Let them know they can share screenshots on social media without getting in trouble. And, help them tag their posts for maximum reach.

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