In 2014 Germany enacted a law that banned work emails outside of traditional work hours. France did the same last year, and more countries are considering the ‘right to disconnect’.
How often do you check your emails after work? Could it be affecting…
Your ability to ‘switch off’?
The quality of your sleep?
Or even your health?
We are living in the midst of a new Age- the Digital Age. Our lives are filled with the Internet, Smart Phones and Social Media, and we are starting to realise that there are serious side effects.
Our minds are in a constant state of stimulation and distraction. Whether it be riding on the bus or train, or sitting down for a meal, it seems that everyone is glued to their devices. Gone are the days when people would simply sit and watch the world go by for a few minutes.
Young children get screen time for 5-minute car rides, and are even glued to their screens while having dinner with their parents. Not surprising, considering that mums and dads are checking their emails/Facebook/Twitter, with the consistency of an addiction. Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but whatever happened to ‘face to face family time’?
Then there’s the irony of social disconnection in an era of digital connection. Peer pressure to conform to an ‘image’ has created social confusion, including an increase in online bullying & harassment, sometimes with tragic consequences.
But how are workplaces being affected? We all thought the digital revolution was going to make us more efficient, provide flexible working hours, and generally make our lives easier. However, based on feedback from many of our clients and facilitators, it’s clear that the opposite is often happening.
With messages, alerts, bells and beeps all over the workplace, it’s no wonder that the concepts of “The Flow State” and “Deep Work” has evolved, just so we can block out the distractions and get some work done.
Furthermore, we are seeing increasing rates of mental health issues. It was reported in the newspapers just this week that the majority of visits to a GP is due to a mental health issue, and the current Medicare structure doesn’t allow for proper consultation and process of patients. This is telling us that dabbling in wellness is no longer an option.
We are living in an unprecedented time of digital work/life accountability that is putting a strain on our personal resources, draining our energy, and depleting our immune systems. In desperation, we turn to the latest ‘tool’ to try and ‘fix’ the problem. Mindfulness as a workplace concept, an age-old way of living, has increased dramatically.
Mindfulness and meditation are crucial to being able to thrive, but so is ensuring that you have boundaries in the first place, which will ensure that you have time to nurture yourself, and prevent burnout and ill health.
If you would like to know about the range of options that HSG has to offer (such as Creating a Culture of Wellness at Work, Mindfulness and Meditation, or The Flow State and Deep Work), please contact us for more information.
Be well, enjoy each day, and make sure to set aside time to switch OFF.
Michael Stone, Director