KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 25 — Six out of 150 companies have sacked their employees for playing Pokémon Go during work hours, according to a recent survey by the Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF).
Polling 150 employers in various sectors, the Sunday Star reported that the phenomenally popular augmented reality smartphone game is affecting work productivity, with workers even taking longer breaks to play.
“Based on our preliminary findings, six employers, or 4 per cent of the 150 companies, admitted that workers who indulged too much in the game have been dismissed,” MEF executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan was quoted saying.
According to the survey, 95 per cent of the companies polled say that they do not allow employees to access the application during work hours, and 96 per cent of the same respondents prohibited workers from using the company email address to sign up for the game.
The MEF survey also found that 25 per cent of the companies polled have caught employees playing the game during work hours.
Shamsuddin reportedly said that some 11 per cent of employers are claiming that their workers are taking a “longer lunch break” because of the game.
More than half of the 150 companies, at 54 per cent, are demanding that game developer Niantic Labs remove PokéStops and Gyms near their offices of workplace.
PokéStops are places where players can replenish their game items, while PokeGyms enable players to train the titular “pocket monsters” and battle other monsters.
The Pokémon Go phenomenon is based on a 1990s game but updated with the latest technology that superimposes virtual creatures onto real world locations, and allows players to view and capture them through their smartphones.