The importance of disconnecting and switching off

Today, technology often rules our lives, with useful devices that allow us to check our emails first thing in the morning, answer calls out of office hours and spend our weekend trying to ‘catch up’ on work instead of devoting time to family, self-care, or hobbies.

According to data from Just Eat for Business' Digital Detox study, 43 per cent of workers feel burnout ‘sometimes,’ 13 per cent ‘always,’ and one-fifth of workers struggle to switch off after work.

There's no denying that technology makes life easier, with laptops, tablets, and smartphones providing instant communication and convenience. However, with the availability of these devices, the boundaries between work and home life have become increasingly blurred. While being constantly available and online has its benefits, it also means that many of us are finding it difficult to switch off and disconnect from technology at home.

Hybrid working has quickly become the new normal, but it remains unfamiliar to many. Excellent communication reduces the amount of time spent working after hours and allows employees to disconnect and implement a positive work-life balance. Employers and managers should understand the significance of turning off technology after hours and be educated on the risks of technology burnout for their employees. However, we must also hold ourselves accountable in our own time.

Chief Executive Officer at Enreach UK, Duncan Ward said, “SMEs must be able to communicate and interact with their customers at any time and from any location. This is especially important when it comes to building strong, long-term relationships with their customers. Businesses must be able to focus on their core competencies without being distracted. We want to ensure that SME businesses and their customers get the best results possible, but we also understand that a positive work-life balance is critical for everyone.”

Taking a break from your electronic devices will improve your health and productivity at work, allowing you to work smarter rather than longer. You'll be able to face the new working day feeling revitalised and energised.

Creating physical boundaries between you and your work by either working in a separate room or tidying things away each night will also help to avoid burnout and stress. Alternatively logging out of all work-related apps and email applications or setting a ‘Do not disturb’ status could be the answer.

Another way to ensure work boundaries are set is to let people know you will not be contactable past a certain time. This could be through an out-of-office response or a voicemail message. Unfortunately, sometimes there may be urgencies, however on most days’ boundaries will help reduce stress and burnout at work.  

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