Career Center

Share Now

How not get fired while playing Pokémon Go

It’s official, #Pokecraze has hit Hong Kong. As of July 26th, Pokémon fiends have been roaming all over the city trying to find and capture those cute Pikachu and hard-to-find Charizard.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably been sucked into the Pokémon Go world by now, trying to “catch ‘em all”. For those not in the know (oblivious employers, take note) Pokémon Go is an app that allows players to find, catch and battle the creatures of the Pokémon world. But beyond any regular gaming app, Pokémon Go has these characters superimposed against your actual surroundings, allowing you to ‘catch’ them in the real world. Essentially, it has resulted in a lot of Hongkongers walking around with their noses glued to their phones.

Across the world, there have been reports of people injuring themselves while playing, joining ‘Pokewalks’ – arranged gatherings to help each other find and catch as many as possible – and even quitting their jobs or getting into trouble at work because they just Can’t. Stop. Playing.

This is some serious commitment. So how to ensure you capture all those pesky Ekans without losing your job or suffering at the hands of your boss?

Don’t play during work hours
Pokemon Go at work

This is a no-brainer, really, but we know how hard it is to ignore the game when a Clefable is right there, just down the road from work. When you’re at work you are expected to – surprise, surprise – be working. So if your manager catches wind that you’re ducking out the office every hour to play a game, they’re not going to be best pleased.

If you have to play while at work, limit it to lunchtime.


Or, get a boss who forces you to play!

The CEO of tech website The Next Web, Boris Veldhuijzen, sent out an internal memo recently urging his employees to play Pokémon Go to help them get a bit more exercise. Yes, really!

work and Pokemon Go
Source: Business Insider

Closer to home in Hong Kong, there has been at least one report of an employer giving staff half the day off to go play Pokémon Go and get it out of their system:

pokemon go Hong Kong

Source: @Simonting on Twitter

Don’t overuse company resources to find Pokémon
Farfetch’d might be an Asia-exclusive character on Pokémon Go, but this doesn’t mean you can use unlimited company time, email, Wifi or anything else to help you capture one.

Your employer’s work resources are provided for work purposes only. While some companies might be relaxed about you emailing friends on your work email, you don’t want to push this too much by constantly messaging friends to find out where Pokémon are. The same goes for Whatsapp and Facebook and any other messaging app you’re allowed to use at work – don’t bite the hand that feeds you! Use all these platforms responsibly.

Don’t use sick leave just so you can play…
Reasons to take sick leave: You are actually sick; you need to visit a doctor; you physically can’t get out of bed due to illness.

Reasons not to take sick leave: Because you have to catch that Mew right now or it’s going to drive you crazy.

Remember, if your boss finds out you have falsely called in sick, it could be grounds for termination.

Don’t threaten to quit your job to play Pokemon full-time
Yep. New Zealander Tom Currie used to work as a barista, but decided to give it all up to pursue his real dream – catching Pokémon.

"When I resigned, I didn't tell my manager I was going out into the world to hunt Pokemon," he told Newsbeat. "But after my story got picked up I gave him a courtesy call to update him just in case the media contacted him.”

While this is an extreme case, we feel compelled to remind you that catching Pokemon is not a full-time job. Got it? Good.

Need a part-time job instead so you can catch ‘em all? Search for part time jobs in Hong Kong here.