6 Ideas to Foil Technology Overload

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Ever gone an entire day – maybe even two days – without checking your e-mail? Or even turning your computer on? Sound good? Or impossible?

Tech overload is real. It’s also called employee burnout. It’s now the norm. The Associated Press reported that the average business manager receives 190 emails a day, many requiring a response. Text and chat apps, webinars, blogs, tweets. In HR or a manager’s role, you know this story all too well.

As you recruit and strive to retain your best employees, is your company seriously seeking a balance between employees working efficiently with technology and maintaining a healthy workplace culture?

Here are six ideas to cut back on tech overload. The first three are easier, the next three a bit more bold. With a few of these in place, you’ll gain a recruiting edge. In job interviews, talk about why these programs are important to your company culture.

1) Don’t just encourage breaks – schedule them! Get staffers off their computer. Encourage a walk. Phones best left at their desk! (Not likely, but you can try.)

2) Stock your break room well – but skip the M&Ms and buy some healthy alternatives. Fruit, yogurt, salad ingredients.

3) Rotate employee assignments. Let work teams decide who handles the tasks that need to be done. Don’t load all the heavy computer work on one person just because she’s the tech savviest.

4) In an experiment, Volkswagen is deactivating some employee’s e-mails after their shift is over. You can’t check work e-mail from home if it’s off.

5) Everyone has employees who avoid vacations. It might be your CEO. One company instituted a blackout week once every quarter where no one except customer service reps were allowed to work.

6) Create a few “mental health” days. Let employees know this is a paid day off to do something that makes them happy. Without being pushy, ask them what they have planned. Hopefully they’re not sitting at home on Facebook.

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