3 reasons it pays to help employees unplug

Technology has empower the world to connect in ways our grandparents couldn’t have dreamed. The way we work and live has changed immensely as a result of technological advancements but are all these changes for the better? Empirical evidence would suggest not. Academics researching the psychological impact of excessive technology and internet use have denoted significant negative consequences, including technostress and social anxiety.  As organisations strive to tackle the growing issue of occupational stress there is much merit to enabling a workforce to unplug and power down.

Here’s three solid reasons why businesses should review their policies and practices to help each individual limit unnecessary technology stimulation outside of working hours:

  1. Brain Recovery: In their study which analysed  multiple determinants of psychological detachment the Kansas State University identified that downtime after work is essential for stress recover. The findings suggest that “segmenting work and nonwork roles can help employees detach and recover from work demands”. By continuing to communicate with colleagues about work issues outside of office hours not employees only increases stress but diminishes the time allowed for the brain to recover.
  2. Better Focus Leads to Better Output: We’ve all been guilty of working on a spreadsheet or answering emails while trying to help a child with homework or chat with a friend. But multi-tasking doesn’t work. A 2013 study revealed those people who have a great tendency to multi task are actually less skilled at it than those who multi task infrequently. Putting policies in place that allow for employees to sperate work and home and will inevitable result a more focused and productive workforce.
  3. Technology use affects sleep and mental health: it is well documented that blue light from screens can inhibit sleep and the impact of sleep deprived workforces is gaining increasing attention from academics. Furthermore, Forbes cited a study which demonstrated a connection between technology use and psychological disorders. While personal habits may mean screen exposure before bed, organisations can regulate the work related stimulation that might spike adrenaline late at night.

Author: Sara Glynn, Marketing & Customer Success Manager @ Wrkit