Happenings, Insights, Thought Leadership, Forward Thinking Podcast Episodes
There’s no question about it, we’re surrounded by technology and we depend on it every day, to wake up, get ready, cook, drive…and, yes, to talk. And while technology allows us to stay connected and conduct our businesses efficiently, it can also be both distracting and draining. We’re constantly interrupted by our devices, and expected to be available 24/7 to the point that we’ve lost our ability to set reasonable boundaries on our availability and productivity limits.
What we should all be striving for, say Scott and Annette Klososky with FPOV and recently guests on “The Forward Thinking” podcast, is digital wellbeing: the optimal state of health and wellbeing for people who use technology. Digital wellbeing requires being aware of how and when we use technology and finding the balance between digital efficiency and building relationships with other people. It also requires that we recognize that digital interruptions, whether from work or home, are self-inflicted, and thus up to us to control.
“People interacting with machines for an inordinate amount of time is probably not good for us, whether that’s kids with gaming or factory worker with a welding machine,” says Scott. “Even on Zoom, when we’re ostensibly interacting with another human being, we’re interacting with a machine, and as humans we’re not wired for this. We’re wired to build trust and relationships person-to-person.”
Annette agrees, saying, “When we switch focus from human interaction to our technology, it brings us out of the present and interrupts the intimacy of the interaction.”
Once you’ve identified a digital imbalance, whether that’s too many video calls or not being able to put your phone down, it’s time to set boundaries. Identify the reasonable limits of what you can and should accomplish within your work hours, and recognize that other work can wait for the next day…even though you could keep working on it from home. When possible, trade digital interactions for faceto-face, which are more emotionally rewarding and less draining than their digital counterparts. Proactively seek balance in how you spend your time with each of your team members, which again requires awareness.
Leaders have a role to play in helping their employees achieve a digital balance in their lives. They should model what they consider to be appropriate digital use, using the technology they expect their team to use. Ask for feedback and enable employees to create the digital culture they want to see. In a hybrid environment, this includes decisions about how meetings are conducted, what processes are in place, as well as expectations of availability and responsiveness. Even with rules in place, leaders need to find ways to foster trust with team members in a sometimes remote environment.
Also keep in mind that technological landscape continues to evolve, so the digital culture needs to change as well…starting at the top.
Hear more from Scott and Annette on their episode of the The Forward Thinking Podcast, and learn more about FPOV at fpov.com.
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experienced FCCS Principal Consultants who know the cooperative sector and its nuances, and Affiliate Consultants selected from a well-vetted, proven group of outside providers, and onboarded for deeper understanding of the FCCS’ client base, the Consulting Network offers expertise in areas critical to long-term success in today’s volatile and uncertain environment: leadership, governance, talent management, strategy, technology, future trends and mental focus, to name a few.
For more information about the Consulting Network and its services, contact Jean Cantey Segal, Chief Learning Officer for FCCS, via email or at 303-721-3278. Balancing Tip: When “off the clock” at home, Scott takes all business calls in a separate office away from the family, so the opportunity cost is very clear. Try it – you may find yourself passing on some non-essential business calls to spend time with your family and friends.