We live, and work, in a world that’s completely connected. My iPhone syncs to my laptop, my calendar syncs with my wife’s calendar, school newsletters come via email and Facebook keeps me in touch with everyone else that’s important (and not quite so important) in my life.
And that’s a great thing! As Insights’ Chief Technology Officer, it’s my responsibility to make sure that our business is always on and fully functioning, 24 hours a day. As a global business, we don’t have the luxury of switching off our laptops at 5pm and skipping off home. Our customers live across different time zones, and therefore we do too. Being ever present is critical to our business.
But I think there’s a major difference between ‘always on’ and ‘always on top of your game’. And one doesn’t necessarily equate to the other. Just because I can check my emails before I drop off to sleep, does it mean I should? And just because Facebook tells me that my friend has posted another picture of his kitten, should I feel compelled to like it? In truth, I think ‘always on’ leads to lower productivity, simply because we never get the chance to reboot and recharge. So I've written a Productivity Manifesto and I'm going to stick to it.
It’s hard to tune out from the technology that simultaneously makes our lives simpler and much, much more complex. But I think we have to try; always on is for organisations, not the people who work in them.