Two thirds of today’s employees feel “overwhelmed” and 75% of managers feel they’re working at or above full capacity. But research shows that we’re spending 25.6% less time working than we did 50 years ago and spending more of our days with family and friends. So why are we feeling so overwhelmed?
Some are pointing the finger at smartphones, tablets and wearables. Advances in technology have improved the way we work in many ways – they help us share information, collaborate more easily, and speed up communications around the world. But there’s a significant downside: it’s nearly impossible to switch off.
From the minute we wake up, to the minute we go to bed, most of us are never more than a few inches from our smartphones. They aren’t just sitting idle in our pockets either – we check them on average 150 times a day. And it doesn’t stop there – 50% of people check their phones if they wake up in the middle of the night.
So why exactly are we so glued to our screens? New research points to dopamine, which causes ‘seeking behaviour’ – making us curious and wanting more. This is crucial to our species as it causes us to seek out food, sex and information to help us learn and develop. But when our fix of dopamine comes from email alerts and app notifications, we have a problem.
Is the inability to ‘switch-off’ outside of work effecting employees within your organization? To help your employees resist the lure of the mobile phone, and be more productive at work, it’s time we found ways to encourage people to focus on the task at hand. One simple strategy is to close e-mails for set periods of time throughout the day and put phones out of sight.
To ensure we’re getting the best out of ourselves and our employees, sign up to the Mind Gym webinar, on November 21st – “Thriving, striving or surviving? Building organizations that flourish” here.