Promoting a Healthy Balance Between Technology Use and Digital Disconnection at Work
This blurring of boundaries between work and personal life has brought complications that affect employees' emotional well-being and, consequently, their productivity and work health. Therefore, it is imperative to address this issue and implement strategies to help people find a healthy balance in this regard. Here, we will delve into the effects of the lack of digital disconnection and propose some measures to address it.
The Negative Effects of Excessive Device Use and Lack of Digital Disconnection
Excessive device use has a cumulative effect on the technology used in the workplace, leading to significant impacts on health, as outlined below:
1. Increased Stress:
Certain features of technology, such as utility, intrusiveness, and speed, are associated with what studies call "technostress." The ability to be constantly connected generates feelings of pressure and urgency to solve problems, even outside of work hours.
2. Reduced Concentration:
Constant interruptions from notifications and the need to check internal communication platforms (such as email) have a negative impact on attention. This results in lower task execution quality and increased completion times.
3. Deterioration of Emotional Well-being:
Inability to disconnect from the information and communication technology (ICT) used at work hinders the allocation of quality time for self-care and personal relationships. This imbalance between work and personal life leads to feelings of anxiety, burnout, and depression.
4. Impaired Sleep Quality:
Exposure to electronic devices before bedtime, as well as the possibility of receiving notifications outside of work hours, has been identified as a reason for reduced sleep quality. Lack of rest directly and negatively affects work performance.
5. Work-Home Interference:
Studies also indicate that intensive users of digital technologies (those who use a device at work and another in their personal life) report a higher level of burnout because their work and personal lives interfere with each other through this usage.
Strategies to Promote Digital Disconnection and Establish Healthy Boundaries
So, what can be done to control and eliminate these disadvantages of technology use at work? While the impact of digital media is impossible to eliminate from our lives, there are measures that can reduce its impact and promote digital disconnection. Let's explore some of them:
1. Establish Work Disconnection Hours:
mplementing specific times during the week (or daily) when the use of technology is discouraged is an effective way to make employees aware of how they are affected by it. This encourages a sense of disconnection and makes it easier to establish a culture around it.
2. Create Technology-Free Spaces:
Allocate areas in the workplace where the use of devices of any kind is not allowed. This provides an opportunity for employees experiencing burnout or technostress to disconnect while fostering face-to-face social interaction. Taking advantage of this kind of break also encourages reflection on the influence of ICT on mood.
3. Implement an Emotional Well-being Program:
Workers experience burnout and anxiety for reasons beyond the lack of digital disconnection. A comprehensive emotional well-being program that includes measures for technology rest will help create an atmosphere of camaraderie, autonomy, and energy recharge. Promoting physical activities in the workplace, self-care advice, encouragement of healthy habits, and active breaks are some example measures.
4. Provide Education on the Topic:
Often, the effect that technology has on mood is not consciously or directly perceived. Therefore, providing information to employees through talks or workshops is very useful. This fosters individual self-care regarding digital disconnection and work-life balance.
5. Establish Organizational Policies and Norms Regarding Digital Media Use:
It is very important for there to be rules regarding the use of technology within the company's culture. An example of these measures would be to establish penalties for contacting employees during their free time for work-related reasons. It is also useful to implement hours during which emails or other communication platforms cannot be used.
6. Emphasize the Role of Managers:
Modeling by team leaders plays a crucial role in the implementation of the above measures. Studies show that supervisor support helps regulate technology use, thereby preventing technostress.
Therefore, it is crucial to train and choose good team leaders who act as role models for balancing personal and work life. Otherwise, the measures presented in the previous sections may lose effectiveness as they are perceived unevenly.
In an era dominated by the internet, where much of life depends on a device, the real challenge is to set it aside, even if only for a few hours. And, although it may seem paradoxical at first, productivity also improves when digital tools that support it are abandoned. Therefore, it is worthwhile to consider implementing digital disconnection policies to balance people's lives.
If you want to continue promoting the emotional well-being of your employees, we can help you with that. You can count on an online psychologist at Therapyside to continue delving into your emotions, prioritize yourself, and take care of your psychological well-being. If this article has helped you better understand this topic, we hope you feel more empowered to live a life without limitations!