Playing Pokémon Go at Work: This Might End Badly

Playing Pokémon Go at Work: This Might End Badly

We’ve seen them on the streets, wandering in parks, and even flooding hospitals trying to catch ‘em all. There are approximately 25 million Pokémon Go users in the U.S., and its addictive properties make it hard for individuals (including professionals who are at work) to pull away.

In fact according to a recent Forbes poll, 69 percent of users say they’re gaming while on company time and according to, 40 percent of adults who have downloaded the app are 25 or older.

One photo that has already gone viral, shows a boss getting frustrated with Pokémon playing employees, by posting a sign stating “We are paying you to work, not chase fictional video game characters with your cell phone all day. Save it for your break time or lunch. Otherwise you’ll have plenty of time unemployed to “Catch them all.”

For a larger collection of how management is responding to the game being played in the workplace, check out this collection from Business Insider. Here’s more from Time. One Twitter user said their typical 30-mintue walk to work took 90 minutes today.

Despite the large number of time-sucking mobile games that have come up over the years, though, there hasn’t been any hard research into their financial impact on the workplace. (March Madness, for comparison, results in a work slowdown that works out to $1.3 billion per hour, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Cyber Monday losses are a much smaller $450 million.)

John Reed, Senior Executive Director of Robert Half Technology offered this insight on how the Pokémon Go craze might impact work productivity.

“With any potential distraction during working hours— be it games, or social media, or even just texting — there is a real need to exhibit self-control. As an employee, if other team members or clients are relying on you to be responsive, you have to realize that while some distraction may be acceptable, it could have a negative impact on your job over time.”

Reed added the importance of leadership establishing the ground rules for behaviors and setting a good example for your team.