“What is your most valued possession in life?” – was the headline used by a company attempting to advertise its new smartphone on the market, that for some reason, was quick to grab my attention. I naturally stood there thinking to myself, “what is, indeed my most valued possession in life?” and it seems like this company had my answer all figured out. It is, albeit very sadly, my phone.
It is a given nowadays, that wherever you go, your phone is with you. Your clients know this … and frankly, so does your employer. Whilst it has undoubtedly made life much easier on several levels, and even more importantly, from a productivity point of view, this hyper-connected world, keeps making it increasingly challenging for employees to demarcate work and personal life.
Having constant access to emails and work chats has found employees tethered to their jobs 24/7. This has led to a growing concern about the potential effects of always being “on” – increasing the risk of stress, burnout, and a diminished sense of well-being.
It is this sentiment that has paved the way to the phenomenon of the “Right to Disconnect” – a concept that seeks to empower employees to unplug from work-related communications outside their designated working hours. Several countries have experimented with this, and whilst it may seem like a complex principle for employers to master, it really requires just a few simple steps, that will undoubtedly go a long way with employees, and which would render the same outcome.
- Start by avoiding off-hour emails which can wait. Preparing your emails and sending them out by using a time delay feature allows whoever wants to work outside designated hours to do so, whilst others receive them on the following working day.
- Secondly, clarify expectations. Simply, just set out a clear response deadline, showing that the request is not one that requires immediate response. A one-liner that will cost nothing, yet, is enough to put the recipient’s mind at rest if they cannot reply there and then.
- And finally, but importantly, value your employees while promoting their well-being. Remember to show your constant gratitude towards them. Long working hours or late nights at the workplace do not necessarily translate into more or better work. Undertake a deeper and more significant route. Appreciate their sustainable commitment, praise their good quality work, and celebrate their productivity and growth within the workplace.
Simple steps right? - but ones that will be greatly appreciated by your employees, promoting their well-being, and keeping their morale high and productivity going. Keep their passion for work alive!
In today’s increasingly connected world, the importance of disconnecting from work has become a necessity. It is not only a matter of employment rights, but it is about allowing employees to stop, switch off, and recharge. Allow the flexibility that has nurtured today’s work life to enhance your employees’ lives and not consume it. Do not allow stringent work practices to influence their professional path, driving them away from other opportunities that have already mastered this philosophy. Allow them to enjoy a healthy life balance – let them go on airplane mode!