Article: Keep calm & detox digitally this Diwali

Life @ Work

Keep calm & detox digitally this Diwali

This Diwali free yourself from the shackles of digital slavery and taste the water of real life.
Keep calm & detox digitally this Diwali

In an in-house training at an organization, all the members were asked to submit their mobiles to refrain them from using for a time period of 1 hr. This announcement made the members present in the room to almost jump out of their skin. This is the extent of addiction to digital technology so much that gadgets have almost become oxygen mask for people. 

At TechHR16 conference organized by People Matters, Steven Ehrlich of TMP Worldwide Advertising mentioned,

Research has found that a person checks his phone once in every 6 minutes”

Digital addiction

Santosh Anoo, Senior Director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP (“DTTILLP”) said,

It is evident that smartphone usage has disrupted many common daily activities, and this is here to stay"

An alarming statistics has emerged which states, 65% of Indian Netizens are Internet Addicts, according to Telenor Survey. Also another study by Deloitte Global Mobile Consumer Survey 2015 showed that 86 percent of 2000 surveyed Indian consumers owned smartphones, which is 12 percent higher than in 2013.

There is no doubt that technology plays a major role and has made our lives super-fast, and from a business perspective, it has a big role to play -responding to customer emails at exactly the right time. But this is taking away our ability to distinguish between real and digital lives. 

Digital detox

So what exactly is Digital Detoxification? According to the Oxford Dictionary, digital detox is 'a temporary epoch during which a person fully disconnects from all digital services such as smartphones or computers, to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world'.

Ashish Hemrajani of BookMyShow said, 

Referring to how automated we have become where our actions are controlled by the notifications on our phones, I tell people who spend their lives on social media to step out and smell the fresh air once in a while”

According to a report, France has already declared a ban on working after office hours to help employees escape the peril of digital burnout.

Signs that your employees need a digital detox

  • Routinely checking and responding to work emails and messages after office hours

  • Sitting at their desks during break-time, catching up on work or surfing the web

  • Instead of disconnecting on holiday, they feel they must stay on top of work

  • Not taking enough technology breaks throughout the day

While working exhaustively is a good sign of employees but not on the cost of your life and breath. This can lead to increased stress levels, lower job satisfaction, increased negativity and burnout. And it is not just employees who are paying the price; work-life imbalance is also costing employers billions of bucks each year due to lost productivity, higher medical costs and employee turnover.

Employers approach towards digital detox

It is vital that organizations try to understand lifestyle choices, workplace-related stress and mental health of employees’ to help create a better work-life balance. This includes digital shut down in order to reduce stress. After all, employees, who are cared and understood, are typically more engaged and productive.  But managing employee digital wellbeing is a horse of different color altogether. Living in a perennially connected society, it is impossible to escape from the paws of digitalization. Keeping this in mind leaders in the HR space should encourage the employees to escape the digital overload. 

You don’t need to shell out big bucks or carve out great chunks of time to rejuvenate your teams through a digital detox therapy. Here are a few ways how you can help your employees unplug from the digital stress:

  • Encourage managers to avoid after office pings

When a manager gets an impulse of an idea on a Saturday morning, it becomes too irresistible not to communicate with his/her team member. But if they understand the toll it takes on members, they can go for alternatives like delaying in sending an email or text until the weekend is over. They can also wait to have a face to face conversation with the employee to avoid engaging them on the weekend.

  • Shut down during holidays

Insist your employees turn off, shut down and log off from the digital world especially when they are on a holiday. Make sure people know who is on a holiday so that they are not bombarded with emails and texts. 

  • Get the C-suite on board

In order to disseminate the concept of digital detox on the floor, getting the behavior modeled at the top will surely roll the carpet for this therapy. 

  • Tech to combat tech addiction

Working out how much time is actually spent online can be the first step in wanting to cut down. There are apps for those with tech willpower issues to curb tech addictions. Apps like Moment tell the user how much time they are spending online. Being made aware of a problem is often the first step in enabling behavioral change.

Outcome of digital detox 

It is easy to live in a digital box every day without realizing what is around us. Digital services have turned us into zombies letting out the beauty and value of personal life. We fail to absorb the smell, sights, and sounds of life because we are entangled in either with our daily office work or watching the next episode of Game of Thrones. 

So go for a digital detox to get away from it all for a reinvigorated attitude upon your return.

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Topics: Life @ Work, Watercooler

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