In order to be a healthy, happy place to work, and a sustainable business in our 24/7 connected world, making sure your staff are managing their relationships with their smartphones and other devices is imperative.
Digital technology is a necessary fabric of most people’s lives. Rarely out of arm’s reach, our smartphones in particular are capable of more than we ever thought possible and we need to be engaged with it to live and work in the modern world.
This technology has had a huge impact on the way businesses operate. Many employees are maximising the opportunity for flexible working as a result of mobile technology but the flip side is often a culture where many increasingly feel the need to be accessible around the clock. In addition, with digital technology being used my many people in their personal lives the boundaries between work and home life are becoming blurred with social media, newsfeeds and other apps interrupting the working day and employees struggling with having proper breaks to recharge and refocus away from screens.
These amazing devices we all own are meant to make our lives easier, simpler, less stressful. But do they?
More and more evidence is coming out that shows that being over-connected can have a profoundly negative impact on wellbeing. As a result businesses have a duty of care to ensure their staff know how to manage their screen time at work and at home.
At Shine Offline we have experienced first-hand the negative impact of digital reliance and distraction on wellbeing, relationships and productivity. As a result of the work we do and the people we meet we know that a vast majority are feeling out of control and need guidance and support when it comes to the management of their time on and offline, and practical skills and tips on how to do this.
We believe that by empowering people to better manage their digital technology behaviour they can reclaim the pause in their day and free themselves from the shackles of being constantly connected, available and essentially out of control. Its straight forward but not always easy to stick to but making some small changes in your online habits and mobile management can have a positive impact on all aspects of our lives.
The plain, hard facts
This is just a snapshot of the research carried out in recent years on our relationship with online technology
- Nomophobia. We promise that is a real word. According to Collins Dictionary “It is the irrational fear of being without your mobile phone or being unable to use your phone for some reason, such as the absence of a signal or running out of minutes or battery power”. [Read more]
- The average user checks their smartphone 150 times a day. [Read more] Unsurprising when we consider that 90% of us experience ‘Phantom Vibration Syndrome’ (we didn’t make that up either) [Read more]
- Half of UK adults admit to actually being “hooked” on their smartphones, rising to 61% of young people [Read more]
- 79% have their smartphones with them 22 hours a day [Read more]
- 40% check their phone five minutes before going to sleep [Read more] and 80% within 15 minutes of waking up [Read more]
So what’s the big deal?
- Numerous studies have linked heavy internet usage and excessive use of smartphones to mental health problems, with 20% of UK users saying social media leads to feelings of depression [Read more], anxiety and low self-esteem [Read more].
- Adult attention spans have declined significantly in the 8 years since smartphones existed and people now generally lose concentration after eight seconds – so less than a goldfish! [Read more]
- ‘Email epidemic’ is damaging UK productivity and a working culture where employees wanted to be seen to be available by email at all hours, was causing stress and depression, and in turn making workers less efficient [Read more]
- Multitasking myth. Psychologist Professor Clifford Nass, found that people who are regularly bombarded with several streams of electronic information do not pay attention, control their memory, or switch from one job to another as well as those who prefer to complete one task at a time [Read more]
- UK workers failing to switch off outside of work hours is leading to burnout, with the latest research showing 4 out of 5 managers cancel out their entire annual leave though out of hours work on smartphones [Read more]
- A German town has gone so far as to install traffic lights on the pavement to prevent people walking onto the tramlines [Read more]
- Our mobile phones have been proven to have a negative impact on sleep length and quality [Read more]