Could you beenfit from a ‘tech-lite’ day? Or does the prospect fill you with panic?!
It’s ironic that the very technology that was supposed to streamline our work days and keep us even more connected than before is now being blamed for a lack of productivity. Some experts are even warning against the very serious threat of tech addiction, in which we are so glued to our devices that all meaningful work and relationships suffer.
The first big news in the field was the discovery that the CEOs of tech giants like Apple and Microsoft are very strict when it comes to their kids having any kind of screen time. You might think that having Steve Jobs for a dad would mean all the latest gadgets–even unreleased prototypes–at your fingertips, but it was actually quite the opposite. Jobs, Bill Gates, and others have had some considerably archaic-sounding rules for their own kids, such as no iPads at all, no cell phones until they’re fourteen, and more.
Step away from the tech
The Financial Times reported on companies that have enacted policies such as “tech-lite” days once a week, or have banned electronic communications between their employees in order to encourage them to get up, move around, and actually speak to each other. The article further reports that some companies in Germany have banned emailing outside of work hours, and such a rule actually became law in France for companies with the minimum number of employees.
Interestingly, some companies have faced backlash from their employees over such policies, at least at the start. One app company reported that the employees felt like they were being told what to do, while it’s not hard to assume that “no after-hours emails” could be seen as a sign that your employer doesn’t trust you. Truthfully, the rule many companies have about “no devices in meetings” can be taken both ways: you’re either fostering an environment of connection and communication, but you could also be sending the message that you don’t trust employees not to be texting or playing Candy Crush instead of listening to the boss.
Lead by example
Like all policies of this nature, there’s a vital aspect to making it a positive, supportive condition: the boss has to follow through as well. No phones in the meeting means the CEO’s phone had better not ring, either. A policy against after-hours emailing is only effective if an employee isn’t docked on his performance review for not answering the boss in a timely fashion. Overall, with an air of transparency and reasoning, tech-free and tech-lite could prove to be a game changer for businesses looking to be more productive and more cohesive.