Digital distraction – Always present but avoidable
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We live in a world where whatever we do and wherever we work, we are connected. Managing our inbox, checking phones, scanning and facing our workload, is an overwhelming process for each employee and under unstable circumstances this can lead to counterproductivity.
Amy Blankson, a positive leadership consultant and the author of “The Future of Happiness”, considers that digital distractions and permanent connection to the digital world, on a long-term base, can reduce the productivity of an employee. These instruments such as phones or emails were created to make our work easier and more efficient. Nowadays the phone is more compulsory than efficient. Nevertheless, these instruments are and will always be useful, the main point is to find a way to counterbalance these distractions.
There are several studies who lead to proven practices, how employers can encourage a positive digital culture in their companies.
Here are some of the good practices that can help avoid digital distractions:
Companies should try to have a quiet room or create a space for relaxation, where employers can go for a few minutes, to take a break from work and devices. Thus, changing their work environment and disconnect shortly from the pressing workload can activate their dreaming mode, which can lead to creativity and great ideas.
Several studies have shown that employers who encourage phone free breaks have happier employees. Living your phone aside in your lunch break gives you the opportunity to relax, connect with colleagues and make the most of your break.
Setting a time limit for work communication is another good practice, which can empower a positive digital culture. Employees tend to respond immediately to an employer’s request, even if this happens late in the evening or on holiday. There are people who sleep with their work phone next to them, just to feel close and on top of everything that might appear. Companies can explicitly set up a policy on communication preferences and expectations, on how employees are expected to respond.
Daily meetings and a large amount of emails make the employee feel there is not enough time to have uninterrupted time to perform their work. Time for themselves to get focused and be their most productive selves is very important. Employers can help in this perspective, by encouraging employees to block in their calendar a so-called “focus time”, in which for a short period of time they can be by themselves and not disturbed. Setting a short out of office message, explaining what you are doing and for how long is a sign of respect for colleagues, good communication and signals towards the company that you value doing qualitative work (“I’m stepping away from my email to finish this project. I’ll be back in one hour.”)
We need digital instruments as much as we need a healthy work environment. Employers have the power to create a healthy workspace, with both mental and physical spaces, which can drive long-term engagement and reduce distractions for employees.
Ana Ber – Managing Partner InterSearch Romania
Anca Robu – Senior Consultant InterSearch Romania
Dr. Pendl & Dr. Piswanger – InterSearch Romania is a leading company in executive search, management consulting and interim placement, positioned amongst the top 5 local consultancies in Romania. Operates on the Romanian market since 1997, offering full HR consultancy services with a focus on Executive Search for local, regional and international assignments and related services such Assessments and Talent pool development Centers. Please visit http://ro.intersearch.org