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Case Studies

Pokemon Go at work

About half, 53 per cent of UK employees who play Pokemon Go admit to doing so during working hours according to a survey. Some 43 per cent say they play up to three hours and 27 per cent play between three and five hours at work a week. About a seventh, 15 per cent say they play the game at work for seven or more hours every week.

Qualtrics, an employee engagement company, surveyed 500 British Pokemon Go players. The game appeals across the board, regardless of age, gender or educational level. The majority (58 per cent) had played Pokemon, but for 42 per cent it was a new experience. According to the research, not only are UK workers relaxed about playing Pokemon Go at work, they would be happy to share their love of Pokemon Go with their bosses too. 33 per cent said they would be proud to tell their employers that they play and only 5 per cent said they would be embarrassed to do so. 40 per cent are neither proud nor embarrassed. Players are far less concerned about playing Pokemon Go at work than they are about trespassing on private land while doing so. Only one in four (21 per cent) admit to trespassing while 79 per cent claim not to have trespassed on private land to play the game.

People who regularly play thought that up to 60 per cent of their fellow gamers play while driving. One in ten players confessed to having been stopped by police while playing the game when driving. Pokemon Go outstrips any other game for popularity. It is twice as popular as Angry Birds and 50 per cent more popular than Candy Crush. 90 per cent play Pokemon Go on their smartphones.

With the majority of UK employees not tied to their offices, according to the Office for National Statistics, Pokemon Go is likely to be more of an issue for employers whose staff are at greater liberty to work outside the office than for those who are desk bound. According to Qualtrics, the game poses different challenges that depend on employer outlook.

What they say

Ian McVey, UK Director, Qualtrics, said: “With successive generations of the game yet to come, employers are now starting to take a longer view of its effects on employee productivity. They will be weighing up the balances between workplace flexibility and security, for mobile, home and office based workers. That said, consumer technology may have a significant role to play in workplace learning and development. Pokemon Go can be said to have merit in using a sense of fun with which to introduce the concept of augmented and virtual reality.”

Qualtrics also asked a similar sample in Germany the same questions. Only 38 per cent of German employees admit to playing Pokemon Go at work (15 per cent fewer than in the UK) and 61 per cent say they do not. The findings echoed those of global Qualtrics Productivity research, in May, which found that Germans have the highest self-perception of their productivity at work. UK workers thought 36 per cent of their working day was unproductive, eight percentage points less productive than German workers.


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