Whether it is the latest Pokemon Go craze, Facebook, web surfing or March Madness distractions are not a new phenomenon in the workplace. There are a couple key considerations for employees to consider before succumbing to their distraction of choice.
Know the Company Policy
Some companies have very specific policies prohibiting use of the internet or even cell phones during working hours. It is important to know the company policy and to adhere strictly by its provisions. No game or update from a friend is worth putting your job at risk.
Work is the Focus
You are being paid to work so the expectation is that you are focused on work while you are there. While stress relief can be important during the course of the work day, it important to be mindful of what is acceptable in your workplace. Don’t fool yourself – if you are shopping on the web, reading a stream of Facebook updates or playing a game, someone is likely to notice. Ensure that you are meeting your work deadlines with quality work. If you want to play a game to relieve stress do it during your lunch hour or a break. If possible, do it away from your desk so others won’t think you are game playing on the job.
Consider Your Professional Brand
How you are perceived in the workplace is a critical part of your brand. You want to earn and maintain a reputation for being someone they can count on to deliver quality and timely work. Don’t let distractions erode that carefully earned reputation. If you are hoping to advance your career, play your games outside of work hours.