In 2019 it’s increasingly difficult to ‘switch off’. We are on track to spend 40% of our lives looking at screens, and that figure isn’t shrinking. In the UK especially, it is just an assumption that you have a smartphone with your emails loaded, your social media profiles on constantly and you never being less than a phone call away.
But what impact is this having on our working life? You may think that this constant always-on lifestyle would make us more efficient, being able to respond to emails and events on the fly. To be able to boot up the laptop when something hits the fan… well actually, you may be wrong.
Studies are starting to show that this approach of always responding, is sending anxiety levels soaring. Employees now can’t switch off, have downtime and hit the reset button. Things we categorically need to do for our own well being. This lends itself to depression, illness, and fatigue. As we have explained previously in our other blogs, Depression, Illness and Fatigue/Tiredness lead to difficult situations for employers, such as; time off work, lack of quality in day to day roles and also a huge hit on efficiency.
Several German companies are ahead of the curve and have started to change things internally. For example, Volkswagen implemented a company-wide ‘freeze’ on emails back in 2012. They set their internal servers to not ‘route email to individual accounts between 6.15 pm and 7 am’.
Is this something you could trial in your business for a month or a week and see the impact on staff. Could this help you attract quality professionals into your company and set you apart from the competition?