Do you check your work email as soon as you wake up? (Spoiler: It’s not good for you).
Tablets, smartphones, and other on-the-go technologies make it incredibly convenient to check-in with work responsibilities at all hours of the day – not just first thing in the morning. And while it seems productive to constantly be available to your colleagues and managers, it may not be the most efficient.
Here are a few pros and cons as to how mobile technology can make – or break – the workplace:
The Ultimate Flexibility
Whether you’re a remote employee or someone who spends the majority of their time in the office, mobile technology definitely provides a new level of flexibility that employees have never had before. No matter where we are or what comes up, we can still be accessible to our teams and managers. It gives us the freedom to live our lives while still being able to do our jobs effectively.
Thanks to the increased flexibility that mobile brings, it can also help to increase employee morale. Employees get to spend more time with their families, feel less pressure to be tied to their cubicle all day, and feel less stressed when they have to leave the office – because they still feel connected to their colleagues.
As a manager, having employees constantly connected to mobile devices makes communication easier than ever – with both remote and in-office team members. The convenience of mobile allows for a quick response time no matter how critical the email, text, or phone call may be.
Loss of Work/Life Balance
The traditional 9-5 schedule assumed that employees were accessible to their employers mostly during set hours. With mobile technology, it’s more likely that work will intrude on downtime.
Unplugging is essential to giving our brains time to turn off from work. Always being connected to what needs to be done can easily lead to burnout, which, in the end, doesn’t make us any more productive. Taking a break from our various mobile technologies outside of work helps to refresh our minds, giving us more bandwidth to come up with new ideas and be sharper when we’re actually in the office – leading to better productivity.
Some managers can take advantage of their always-connected employees by sending emails or texts after hours that require a quick response – or worse, calling their employees on the weekends. Respecting your teams’ personal lives is critical, but the convenience of mobile can make it difficult for some managers (and colleagues) to recognize those boundaries.