A Millennial looking like a true businessman is walking down the Broad Street in New York City, while staring at the screen of his phone. It seems that he’s reading an email. Alright, nothing weird about that - everyone reads emails all the time. But wait… He’s stopping. He just flicked his screen and is standing there. At first I thought he might be taking a photo, but he just stood there for several minutes with his phone pointing at something…


Then it hit me - he wasn’t reading an email! He was paying Pokémon Go, and he just found a PokéStop.


During the summer of 2016 this wasn’t an unusual scene. People from around the world went out on the streets in the hope they’ll “catch them all”. 


What Was the Big Deal?


Pokémon Go, Nintendo’s mobile game app added billions of dollars to their market cap during those weeks. It was installed on more than 5% of active Android devices in the US during the first week of its release - which made it even more popular than Tinder! Number of its daily users when up so high it beat Twitter, and average time spent in-app per user was around 43 minutes. In 2016, people spent less time on Instagram. 


It was strange given that Nintendo didn’t actually do anything “big” since 1983, and Pokémon Go was their first venture in mobile gaming! 


If you didn’t get a chance to play the game, here’s how it works. The game combines geolocation and augmented reality (AR). You’re following actual maps to find a Pokémon. Once you reach the destination you turn on your phone’s camera, and you can see the Pokémon waiting for you through the phone. You can actually see the PokéBall catching the Pokémon, it was pretty amazing at the time. Both adults and kids were super pumped about it. 


It’s not that Nintendo was the first one to incorporate AR into a mobile game. There were others before, but they were so unsuccessful that rarely anyone remembers that there was an AR game before Pokémon Go.

How Did It Affect Employees?

Let’s go back to the end of the ‘90s. Pokémon just came out, and every kid was obsessed with it, you probably were too! The franchise had a lot of interesting characters, merch was all over the place, and of course there was a Pokémon game on the Game Boy Color, as well as the collecting cards.


Those kids who were obsessed with Pokémon back then, were the same ones that were obsessed with Pokémon Go in 2016. And at the time, they were making up almost 50% of the American workers. So, you see how this created a problem.


Pokémon Go quickly became the main topic of office chatter. Not only that it created distractions through chit-chat. People were actually taking breaks to go and try to catch a few Pokémon.  


As it was one of those addictive games, it quickly disappeared from our lives, and now we just talk about it like it was something cool and unexpected that happened in 2016. But, that doesn’t mean that anytime soon we could be looking at another addictive game, which will mess with everyone’s mind just like Pokémon Go did back then.

How Can You Avoid These Distractions?

There are several ways to do it actually. One of them is forbidding phones in the workplace. This seems a bit extreme, but it’s understandable in industries where employees work with sensitive customer data, and so on.


Another, less extreme way is to use employee monitoring techniques. And yes, you can start by watching your CCTV from time to time, to see if your employees are using their laptops or their mobile phones at their desk. But the way of monitoring we would definitely recommend is the employees tracking software. With it you can check employee activity and productivity levels. As soon as they stop using their computer for some time, they’ll show up as idle in the dashboard, and you’ll be able to go into the office and check up on them.


Now, this doesn’t mean you should turn into the Big Brother, and jump behind your employees each time their activity status changes. It’s just one of the ways to control the environment in which your employees work, and make sure they’re not wasting their time catching their own versions of Pokémon in 2019.


This article was originally written on July 12th, 2016. It was updated on September 20th, 2019.

Workpuls Teramind ActivTrak Hubstaff DeskTime Time Doctor RescueTime Kickidler Veriato Work Examiner
OVERVIEW
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
TRACKING METHODS
Unlimited (tracker working 24/7)
Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
Project based (track time only on projects)
GENERAL MONITORING FEATURES
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
Offline time tracking
Attendance
Activity levels
Keylogger
Geolocation
Remote desktop control
Website/activity blocking
SCREENSHOTS AND RECORDING
Screenshots
Screenshots on demand
Screen recording
PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES
Productivity trends
Websites and apps labeling
Category labeling
Productivity alerts
ADVANCED SECURITY FEATURES
User behavior analytics
Data loss prevention
Advanced file and web monitoring
REPORTING
Productivity reports
Team reports
Timelines
Email reports
Access management
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
OTHER
Support Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Email, online Phone, email, online, in-person Online Phone, email, online Email, online, Viber, Whatsapp Phone, email, online, support ticket Phone, email, online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations comming soon
API
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock
OVERVIEW
Price (per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user + $16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan: $30 for 5 users + $5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user + $8From $2.20 per user
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasy
FEATURES
Timecard management
Scheduling
Shift Trading
Timesheets
Break time management
Real-time tracking
PTO Management
Payroll
Invoicing
Client billing
GPS tracking
Clock out reminders
Alerts
Manual time
PUNCH-IN METHODS
Web app
Mobile app
Time clock device
Time clock kiosk
Facial recognition
Fingerprint scanning
Geofencing
Group punch-in
REPORTING
Visual reports
Email reports
Time rounding
MANAGEMENT
Permissions
Manager approvals
Add time for others
Integrations
PLATFORMS
Web
Android app
iOS app
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
OTHER
SupportPhone and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, chat and onlinePhone and chatEmail and onlineChat and phonePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Community forum
API
Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
OVERVIEW
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
TIME TRACKING METHODS
Manual
Start/stop buttons
Automatic time mapping
IN-DEPTH TASK AND PROJECT ANALYSIS
Screenshots
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
Real-time tracking
TASK AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project adding
Project templates
Project status
Task assignment
Task priorities
Budgeting coming soon
Mark billable/non-billable hours
Payroll calculation
Invoicing
ALERTS
Idle time reminders
Deadline alerts coming soon
Budget alerts coming soon
REPORTING
Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
OTHER
Support Phone and online Email and online Email and online Online Online, email and phone Email, online and support ticket Email and chat Email and chat Email Chat
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations coming soon
API
On-premise hosting

Ready to Take Full Control Of Your Workplace?

Try the simplest solution today…

Try Now For Free