Did you know that a national poll conducted by Code Computerlove in 2019 found that the Brits spend about 50 days a year looking at their mobile phones? And now that remote work is in full force due to the current state of the world, it’s safe to say that employees will experience higher screen time numbers than ever before.
Why It’s Time to Set Boundaries
While tech tools are inarguably invaluable, using these devices too much sadly causes more harm than good. Case in point: The Independent notes that a study found that smartphone addiction could damage the brain’s normal functioning. This is because being glued to your mobile phone sets off chemical imbalances, which in turn, heightens symptoms of anxiety and fatigue. And with most companies now digital it is becoming harder for workers to have a break from a screen.
On a more serious note, it might also literally mean life and death for some employees. A report on Verizon Connect reveals that drivers are four times more likely to get into an accident if they use their phones behind the wheel — something that a worrying one in five drivers have admitted to doing. If your company sends workers out on field assignments, the importance of using their device safely should be part of company policy. You must make sure you set those boundaries and guidelines.
How to Create Healthy Boundaries
Tech isn’t inherently bad. After all, it has made everyone’s way of living much easier. That said, here are some top tips to help your team set boundaries with tech.
1. Encourage Them to Unplug
As we said, everyone’s practically attached to their phones. In fact, the Huffington Post points out that the average Brit checks their device every 12 minutes of each day. As we’ve previously shared in our ‘Remote Work Habits For Staying Healthy, Productive And Connected’ post, it’s essential to lead a healthy lifestyle at home in order to give your best performance at work. To this end, your team must avoid looking at Slack, Microsoft Team, or any work-related messaging system after work hours. What’s more, you can ask them to turn off their notifications so they can enjoy their time off without any interruptions.
2. Find Time for Peace of Mind
Although most employees will be located in their home offices for the foreseeable future, it doesn’t mean you have to forgo the beloved team-building activity. You can hit two birds with one stone by having a group meditation — preferably, at the end of the week — as a team-building exercise to foster everyone’s mindfulness. According to the BBC, mindfulness helps you develop awareness and also teaches you to be present in the moment. These lessons are important for setting healthy boundaries with your tech devices.
3. Humanise the Online Discussion
When it comes to tech usage, each employee has their own unique set of struggles. Some might use their devices as a distraction, while others simply don’t know how to unplug. As a team leader, try to help your employee find the root of their problem. You can do this by checking in with each team member to see how they are doing. Alternatively, conducting a group meeting might help too.
Overall, open communication is key in helping your team find a balance with technology, and something that all business leaders must engage with so their employees are safe and motivated. In today’s tech-driven world it is up to you to set the boundaries.
Author: Olyvia Tanner