The amount of time we spend looking at a screen is ever increasing, the impact of this on our professional and personal lives is often up for debate. We spoke to, Nisha Gera from wellbeing specialists Joyful Living for some advice on how to have a digital detox.
From smart phones and tablets to sat navs and TVs, modern day life is dominated by screens. We are spending more and more of our time glued to these glowing devices. In fact, according an article in the Telegraph. The average person checks their phone 200 times a day – that’s once every six and a half minutes, 73% of Brits say they’d struggle to go a day without checking their phone or computer and one in four people spend more time online than they do asleep
Technology and it’s use, has changed our lives both in and outside of work. The always on culture means you can chat to friends and arrange social events at 10pm as easily as you can reply to that email from your boss. Leaving the office, no longer means leaving work behind.
It’s unsurprising therefore that there is increasing concern about the impact that this constant exposure will have on our health. As an employer what can you do to help your employees take a break and detox from their screens?
Set boundaries – it is easy for staff to take work home with them. Whether that’s simply checking emails on their phone or logging on and working at weekends. Set boundaries for your employees. Make it clear that they aren’t expected to respond to work emails after hours, that taking work home to do on a regular basis shouldn’t be the norm. Ensure that it is ok for staff to leave their phone and laptops switched off, or even in the office, outside of working hours.
Offer a time out – time away from desks and therefore screens is important. Encourage your staff to take their full hour for lunch and not just grab a sandwich and eat at their desks. Many of our clients use our office massage service as a way of helping their staff to take a break. Our therapists have special ergonomic chairs, meaning there is no need to strip off or get all oily. Focusing on neck and shoulders they have the added benefits of relieving stress and tension. Or for those looking for something a bit different, why not try our laughter yoga course and give everyone a lunchtime chuckle while stretching out those aching muscles.
Lead by example – managers and leaders need to follow the same set of rules as employees. If you want your staff to feel able to switch off out of hours, then you need to do the same. If you send work emails over the weekend, then delay the sending and schedule them to go on Monday instead. If you want your staff to take a lunch break, you need to be seen to take one too. If managers spend all day at their desks, employees will feel pressured do the same.
While you can’t control what they do in their own time, these three simple steps can help give your staff, their eyes and brain a bit of a break from the screens that now dominate our lives.