Volkswagen regularly organises digital blackouts by stopping the email server for some employees who use Blackberry 30 minutes after their shift ends and restores it 30 minutes before work the next day! Boston Consulting Group has tied up with a research centre, and high-powered consultants are required to switch off their gadgets after work once a week. Intel Technologies has initiated humorous enforcement of temporary moratoriums with ‘Quiet Time’ and ‘Zero E-mail Friday’. Deloitte too imposes a ‘No E-mail Friday’ rule for its staff.
Tech fasts and tech cleansing is quickly taking root in several thoughtful and progressive organisations. In fact, a ‘No E-mail Day’ was organised online urging people to log out of their e-mail accounts for a day.
Doesn’t this sound ironic and downright weird? After all, the very purpose of emerging technologies is to impart flexibility and mobility to the traditional offices. And internet, email, social networking sites, smartphones, tablets, cloud computing etc. have definitely revolutionised the workplace with telecommuting, virtual offices, outsourced call centres, cloud meetings and the like.
It’s the era of instant communication as, armed with Blackberry and Ipads, employees can literally work from anywhere anytime, reaching out to people/data around the world, that too in real time. Emerging technology, therefore, is the answer to all troubles as it saves time, lightens workloads, facilitates easy access, imparts freedom and increases efficiency, productivity and business performance. Employees can eliminate monetary waste and deliver top results every time!
The digital paradox
But the reality is far from expectations. The constant connectivity is breaking barriers and invading employees’ personal life as they carry work home with them, actually every where. There is no personal time or work-life balance anymore as everyone is plugged in 24/7 – working longer and longer hours - on the commute, at home, on weekends, even...