Your smartphone may be making you less productive.
Ndubuisi Ekekwe argues at the Harvard Business Review that the "always on the clock" culture of today's world, which keeps us tethered to our digital devices actually hurts our productivity. Why? Becausenot unplugging from the work world damages your long term life balance.
Here's the thing: Business will not collapse if we don't respond to e-mail at 11 PM. Waiting until 9 AM has plenty of benefits that arguably outweigh the benefits of speed, such as giving ourselves an opportunity to think through the problem and provide a better idea that customers will appreciate. Instead of acquiescing to the knee-jerk reflex of responding to every incoming message, we should put these devices in their place — that is, to serve us, and not the other way around.
Companies need to help employees unplug. (Of course, every business is unique, and must take its own processes into consideration. But for most companies, giving employees predictable time off will not hurt the bottom line.) In my own firm, when we noticed that always-on was not producing better results, we phased it out of our culture. A policy was instituted that encouraged everyone to respect time off, and discouraged people from sending unnecessary emails and making distracting calls after hours. It's a system that works if all of the team members commit to it. Over time, we've seen a more motivated team that comes to work ready for business, and goes home to get rejuvenated. They work smarter, not blindly faster. And morale is higher.