We now spend more time communicating, reading and watching content online than we do sleeping every day. With the internet in all of our pockets, there’s always a strong temptation to check your phone rather than switching off from work. Smart phones, mobile apps, cloud computing, mobile email, and web applications all enable you to access the office 24 hours a day, but is that a good thing or a bad thing?
Now that you can take the office home or out and about with you, you can find yourself struggling to get “unplugged” and take a real break from work.
But, could modern technology actually hold the key to a healthy work life balance?
In this two part article we’re going to look at the pros and cons of using technology as a tool to help give you a better work life balance.
So, here are the positives of embracing technology:
You can work remotely
Remote working has grown in popularity as a genuine alternative to the constant commute to and from the office. Although there are times when being in the office is essential, having a day (or few days) in the week where you don’t have to be chained to your desk can help you feel more in control and restore more balance to your life.
Remote working can also benefit your productivity, getting you away from office distractions and helping you to focus. This is particularly helpful in open plan or busy office environments where it can be hard to get a significant block of time to yourself.
You can swap meetings for conference calls
Another way that technology can save you time and money is by swapping meetings for conference and video calls. Rather than trying to gather attendees in one place you can use tools like Skype, GoToMeeting or WebEx to hold your meetings from the comfort of your own office.
This can be especially useful if you spend a lot of time travelling to other parts of the country or abroad but need to still have regular meetings with colleagues. Video calling is also a good alternative if you feel that face-to-face contact would make the interaction more personal.
You can adjust your working hours to suit you
Perhaps you prefer to work at night or you find getting to the office in the morning difficult due to personal commitments.
Depending on the business, and with the correct software in place, technology could allow you to adjust your working hours to better suit your situation.
Some companies (like Basecamp) have a significant number of employees working internationally and rely on technology to effectively collaborate together. Basecamp appreciate that having the ability to offer team members more flexibility in their working hours can lead to enhanced creativity and improved output. They even ended up writing a book about it!
Having more flexible options often makes employees feel more in control and happier, while being better placed to face the challenges of their working day.
Finding the right technology to suit your business can take time and money but with the benefits of increased productivity and employee empowerment, maybe it’s time to start incorporating more technology into your business to restore a better work life balance?
While advancements in technology can help create a healthier work/life balance, they can also help you to make smarter hiring decisions by getting under the skin of your candidates.
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