There are many everyday factors that impact humans in the workplace and because they are everyday habits they increase stress and anxiety levels gradually over a long period of time.
This gradual increase often goes unnoticed simply because we become accustomed to the feelings. Basically, how we are feeling feels normal.
One factor that has been hitting the headlines of late is the 24/7 culture of communication. With the advent of ingenious smart technology comes with it the idea that we are permanently plugged in and ready to do business day and night.
Many of us will remember our first personal computer, mac or laptop. Some of us remember when we would have to go to a phone box if we needed to make a call whilst out and about. So, imagine how we felt when we could do so much on the move!
I remember the novelty of being able to write an email on a smart phone, those heady feelings of pleasure that we could do so much stuff, on the go.
It’s impacting our health by being so connected. Our minds are poorly rested and frazzled with the minds enemy number one, multi-tasking and that’s not to mention the impact on our circadian rhythm or body clock. What about the increase in finger and hand related RSI and the strain on our eyes?
Neck problems and stooping posture are causing us issues, and then there’s the social impact. We are experiencing life through a screen or a lens and reaching for our devices when we could be reaching for each other and real human interaction.
We can lay the blame with Twitter and Facebook, the Boss or our Peers. We’ve been caught, hook line and sinker. Our eagerness to embrace our glorious technology and buy into cool branding and design have lead us to this place.
A place where we are increasingly feeling as if we can’t stop or slow down and we are never not working. To be a good employee, a fantastic business owner and a great business we must be connected or else.
Create your own rules of engagement
What if we create our personal rules of engagement, what would they look like?
- No emails or responses after 6pm
- Reduced tech at weekends
- Personal mobile and work mobile
- Turning off the tech at a certain time
- Charge devices and keep them away from bedrooms
- If we are in company, there’s no social media checking
- Weekends are family time and tech free
- Leave Twitter or Facebook and feel part of the world again
Whatever rules of engagement you choose to implement, it’s good to notice your use of technology and how it’s making you feel. It’s good to let your work colleagues, business associates, friends or family know that you are taking a look at your personal connectivity because you’ll be far more efficient and get more done and feel better if you have your own rules of engagement.
Take the time to notice your own habits with technology. Become more aware of how you are using your phones, tablets and other tech. Is it time to reduce notifications, turn off the banners, vibrations and bings? Trial different methods and see which fit you and your life.
A big turn off could be just what you need! Could you unplug for a week? More here.