A workplace digital detox

Having a digital-detox every now and then can be a good way for workplaces to support their teams to bring their A-game to work. 

Does your phone go wherever you go? 

Do you get distracted by email notifications long after you’ve left work for the day? Perhaps you dream of going away on holiday to a remote part of the country, where there is limited reception forcing you to go off the grid?

We’re here to tell you a digital detox is possible in the workplace and doesn’t have to be limited to dreamy tropical holidays.

It might seem scary at first - how else are you going to reply to that urgent email or take a phone call from a client?

According to research company Nielsen a massive 3.1 million New Zealanders spend 16 hours online every week.

So you’re certainly not alone if you consider your mobile phone to be an extension of your arm.

A balancing act

Being online can be a great way to learn and connect, but it can also be a challenge to get the balance right.

For most of us, unplugging completely is unrealistic. Sometimes there are simply calls to take, texts or emails to answer and moments we want to capture.

The challenge is learning to embrace technology, while not letting it take over every minute. In short, how can we switch off and recharge?

Small breaks = Big benefits

Small breaks away from technology can have big benefits.

Being away from our screen allows us to slow down and focus on the things that matter most. It can free us up to do the things that really matter, like enjoying the outdoors, spending time with the whanau, or giving something new a go.

Doing these things can lead to lower stress levels, improved relationships, and improved overall wellbeing.

We know it isn’t always possible or feasible to go completely digital-free at work, when there are calls to take, spreadsheets to compose and emails to monitor at work. But a little digital-free time, can make a huge difference.

Fluttering between email, internet, text and so on can increase stress, fatigue and lower productivity. 

Tips for best practice at work?

  • Make meetings device-free. Place phones in a box in the centre of the room and if you’re running the meeting, lead by example.
  • Encourage walking/device-free meetings, where everyone can get active and leave their phones and screens behind.
  • Structure your day into blocks and turn off pop-up notifications. By setting aside an hour or so to send off emails you will be able to focus purely on the task at hand, rather than flick between systems. And if you aren’t getting the notifications, you won’t know what you’re missing out on the rest of the day!
  • Turn your phone on ‘do not disturb’ mode when you leave the office. No notifications, no checking!
  • Go screen-free on the weekends, so you’re rearing to go when you really have to, come Monday morning.
  • If you’re working on your computer, simply lay your phone face-down to avoid any distraction caused from a flashing phone.